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After tasting four Lark Distillery drams, it was time to jump into something completely different, so we tried the Lagavulin 1991 Distillers Edition.
The first thing that hit me was just how smooth and civilised this was - much less in your face than the Lagavulin 16 year old. The nose had all the same ingredients, smoke, peat and sea salt, but was balanced by vanilla sweetness, toasted oak and a delicate fruitiness. It was also quite gentle for such typically powerful smells - really subtle and not room overwhelming like the more traditional Lagavulin character.
The taste started with silky sweet corn and vanilla, which was then melded with a wave of gentle warm peat and smoke into a lovely complex and syrupy swirl. Subtle notes of sea salt and pears. Oh my!
The finish starts out with the syrupy mix of peat, smoke and vanilla sweetness and slowly fades bringing out more of the sea salt, but never losing the sweetness. Long and warm, and very civilised! Perfect for an evening in an armchair in front of a fire with your favourite book.
If Ardbeg and Lagavulin had a child this would be it. Wow. This has gone right to the top of my wishlist!