We've got a couple of limited edition bottlings from Lagavulin today.
Lagavulin 12 Diageo Special Release 2021
This 2021 Lagavulin special release was matured for 12 years in refill American oak casks. It also has a cool lion on the bottle which probably explains the £125 price tag...
There’s an ashtray in here, some tobacco, and a slightly medicinal note. There’s also some apples roasted on a bonfire, freshly pitted olives and maybe even a little tuna in brine. There’s a creamy, butteriness here aswell, maybe butter that’s been taken a bit too far and turned slightly bitter. The peat is there, but it’s lighter than we had initially anticipated.
A French cream puff meets a smoking gun. Ready salted crisps, some fishiness (maybe a lobster bisque?) and some of that salted seawater alongside. The mouthfeel is actually really good, very luscious but there’s a heavy alcohol burn that introduces itself as the whisky finishes, leaving a peppery note in your throat. Sitting here, even after a sip of beer, we’re still getting a smokey, savouriness that won’t dissipate.
Nose (with water)
Now there’s roasted peanuts, the salted kind. There’s also an ashy smoke here that’s now less medicinal and more straight up burning cigarettes. We’re also getting some of that sweet buttercream in the background, but the smoke has become the dominant aroma here.
Palate (with water)
Bitter oak and smoke now, with more of a nuttiness and maybe even some baked fish. We’re also getting processed peanut butter with added sugar. The finish is still long, and alcohol has integrated slightly better, albeit still quite dry and bitter.
We’re struggling with this, on one hand it’s not a bad whisky - good mouthfeel, long lingering finish and reasonably well balanced, but we don’t think that it’s overly special. On the other hand, this is incredibly expensive and doesn’t warrant the price based on the quality of the spirit. Lagavulin fans will probably like this as it’s shows the distillery character well, but for us it’s not particularly standout.
Lagavulin Offerman Edition Guinness Cask
Price: £95 (Auction price)
This is the second release of the Offerman edition a collaboration between actor Nick Offerman (of Parks and Rec fame) and Lagavulin. This releasee was finished in Guinness casks for four months.
The nose is very sweet with strawberries and vanilla ice cream, but it’s balanced by a some Earthy smoke. There’s also some yeastiness here and a cereal note. It’s not as smokey as we were expecting and we’re not particularly reminded of Guinness, but it’s a pleasant enough nose.
Palate opens with strawberry meringue, and a perfumed note we’re going to say is lavender. There’s a meatiness to the smoke. Think kebab skewers on a Turkish barbecue. the meaty smoke changes to a slightly bitter note on the finish. This has a good oily mouthfeel that coats the mouth and reminds us of the grease from a bag of chippy shop chips.
Nose (with water)
Reduced nose is more Herbal. There’s also some treacle here, a mustiness, and some tobacco. Finally there’s a faint trace of freshly cracked black pepper.
Palate (with water)
With water this is a lot spicer it’s a like we’ve put a drop of sriracha in this instead of water. Some of smoke has become lost, and lavender note becomes more dominating. Letting it rest there's now some sweet caramel also. The spice has mellowed a little and now is more peppery... It’s like we’ve just bit into a peppercorn. Medium length finish which is quite smooth.
While we can’t say we’re noticing much of the Guinness cask influence, we can say this is a solid dram. Personally we wouldn’t pay the auction price, but at the RRP of £60 we’re happy we nabbed a bottle.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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