In 2018 Lagavulin launched for the third festival an a row and 18 Year Old (for Feis Ile 2019 it was a 19 years old and I presume that trend will continue). I had to admit that those Feis Ile release, the distillery exclusives and mostly the Jazz Festival bottlings are very much to my liking. I wonder if this 18 years old from 2018 is also a winner (when I poured it at my Feis Ile Masterclass in Ghent, it was the winner). It is a vatting of refill hogsheads and sherry butts. I pour from bottle 4.025 of 6.000.
The nose if spring fresh on vanilla, lime and mint, even some banana and pear. Some elderflower. Would that be from the sherry butts? It has a medicinal edge, but not overly much. Soft smoke. Some horse stable and rocky coast. Yes, I can imagine that. It is very good, to say the least, albeit somewhat restraint (for a Lagavulin).
The taste is very good! A touch sweet with a lovely smokiness. Citrus fruit takes charge. Orange liqueur with sugared lime peel. Reminds me somewhat of yoghurt with pieces of fruit, but wrapped in a smoky jacket with green garden herbs. Softer than the standard 16, despite the ABV. The alcohol is perfectly integrated. The sherry is present, but clearly plays second fiddle. Very good, like I said.
The finish is medium long (I would have loved for it to be longer), sooty and oily with lovely peat smoke until the very last moment.
A winner and then some.