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Much like Ardbeg and Laphroaig, Lagavulin is one of those distilleries that has the ability to turn grown men into fanboys. Unlike the latter examples, it does so by releasing very few whiskys and with little fanfare.
Don't get me wrong I don't think Diageo has any trouble with their marketing budget, yet I have to admit that the austere range of Lagavulin resonates with my personal aesthetic.
I first tasted this as the second to last whisky in a line-up of heavy hitters (Bunnahabhain Toiteach, Ardbeg Corry, Bowmore Tempest, Amrut peated CS) so singular was it's delivery, I instantly knew I needed some of this in my life. Much thanks again to @robert99.
Nose: Smoked fudge (this should totally be a thing), burnt chaff, butter, hot tarmac, a slight touch of vanilla. A feeling of Vicks vaporub and alpine liqueurs/bitters, earthy and mineral.
Palate: Sooty, a coal fire, bitter herbs and plants (cardoons?) there is also little sweetness, It reminds me of mezcal in some ways, fresh almonds and grapefruit pith, salty and a slight creaminess.
Finish is long, all on puer eh tea (that earthy, vegetal side), light tobacco smoke, fading sweetness and lingering oiliness. It's so balanced and most quaffable undiluted.
A good reference when one wants to discuss distillery character or quality of distillateur. There are similarities with other Islay whisky but there is this elemental qualities in Lagavulin that are hard to find elsewhere and there doesn't seem to be so much wood doing the heavy lifting.