Another inaugural release for todays review.
Lagg Inaugural Release
Lagg distillery located on the south side of the Isle of Arran was opened by the Isle of Arran distillers in March 2019. The sister distillery to Arran, it will have a focus on peated whisky with the barley used by the distillery having a phenol content of 50ppm. The distillery has a production capacity of 500,000 litres making it one of the smaller whisky distilleries in Scotland. Its inaugural release spent three years in bourbon casks before being bottled at 50%. 10,000 bottles were made available.
Initially we’re getting notes of sweaty feet, toffee and yeast. Going back to it there’s moss, lime juice and TCP. The smoke here reminds us of a mix of a log burner fire and a stale ashtray. Going back to it after some air reveals freshly cut pineapple, oak, salt and barley sugars. There’s some young whisky notes here, but it’s not offensively young like some of the other inaugural releases we’ve tried over the years.
A sweet hit of sugar cane and vanilla essence hits you initially. This is followed by some earthy peat, soil and freshly picked mushrooms. Finally theres spicy notes of chilli, raw ginger juice and of course peat on a decent length finish. There’s a fair alcohol bite here even though it’s only 50%. It’s got a passable mouthfeel, that’s maybe a touch thin. It’s more youthful on the palate than the nose.
Nose (with water)
We’re getting more smoke / peat with the addition of water. More yeast, hay, charred oak and wet soil it’s reminding us of you’ve walking through a forest on a wet winter day. The fruity notes are still there but now pineapple has been barbecued. Along with its there’s red apples and vanilla sweetness.
Palate (with water)
Reduced some of the sweeter notes have disappeared. While the water has tamed the alcohol bite it’s still a little spicy for us, with the heat remaining on the finish along with a dirty peat note. The mouthfeel remains mostly unchanged. Going back we notice a bitter note from grapefruit, a hint of apricot, and tobacco.
It’s always interesting to try these young inaugural releases, and as big fans of Arran distillery we were doubly excited for this one. Sadly this fell a little short for us. It’s not terrible it’s just a little young and needed a few more years in the cask to really show its potential. Saying that we’re impressed that the distillery was able to release a 3yo this good without needing to result to STR casks or some other trick to hide the age. Anyway onto the rating. It’s a decent first release, but at £75 it’s a touch too expensive.
If you're based in the UK and want to try a dram of this, we've still got a few available on our dram club.
- 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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