Whisky Connosr

Lagavulin 1991 Distillers Edition

Average score from 5 reviews and 41 ratings 91

Lagavulin 1991 Distillers Edition

Product details

  • Brand: Lagavulin
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Series: Distillers Edition
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Vintage: 1991
  • Bottled: 2007

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Lagavulin 1991 Distillers Edition

I bought this bottle because it had been consistenty rated in the Connosr Top 10 at that time. The reviewed bottle has been open for approximately 15 months. Ratings are for the current bottle with comments on its evolution

Nose: moderate-to-strong peat, some smoke, with strong sherry wine flavours, and a little brine and medicinal flavour added in. This is a nose very balanced in its flavours. The nose became a little stronger and more differentiated after the bottle had been open for approximately 12 months. Very enjoyable

Taste: delicious sweet wine flavours which just melt right into the sweet malt and sweet peat flavours. A good translation of flavours from the nose. Silky and smooth. A real treat. Now the disclaimer: for the first 12 months this bottle was open, I had to agree completely with Jim Murray that the sherry and the peat fought with each other rather than either harmonised with or complemented each other. For 12 months this whisky would only have rated for me about 84, or slightly higher. Now it is a minor feast

Finish: the beautiful character stays through the finish, now...no loss of any of the important elements for a long period. Previously this finished abruptly, with slight discord, and no fanfare

Balance: what to say? This screams of the need to note how whiskies change over time with some oxygen exposure. This was "ok, but overrated" as a new bottle, but is sensational as an oxidised bottle. My advise with any whisky not quite to your liking at first is to give it some time and see how it develops. Sometimes the time required is substantial, such as a year...

(3 pts are deducted from the Balance Score for having to wait for this for a year)


The other night I decided to start my evening with Lagavulin Distillers Edition for no reason other than the fact that it was a cold rainy evening and I needed to get warm. I needed comfort and, if you know the Lagavulin, the peat in their whiskies really helps to get you to that warm, safe place in your mind whether it’s memories of a family campout back in the 70’s, the birth of your first child or the first time you listened to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” — Lagavulin takes you there. It’s that great.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we? Yes. Yes, we shall:

Initial whiffs – Very “Lagavulin”, almost more Lagavuliny than the standard 16yr (if that makes sense – if ‘Maximum Strength Tylenol’ is like regular tylenol, only more potent – this is how this nose is, without increasing the ABV), noticeably sweeter, warm-campfire-peat, dying embers, a bit pungent, fried banana, candle wax, very seaweedy, candied citrus fruits, wet leather — this has to be one of the most complex noses out there (that I’ve nosed) – absolutely lovely – I’ve been nosing this for 5 minutes now… I think it’s time to taste.

Palate – Rubbery, both in flavor and mouth feel, big tobacco, very salty but less sea-like, anise, not as sweet as the nose, oily smoke, quite nice though, compared to the standard 16yr… the balance seems a bit off here (can’t place it but, it’s off – could be me). Still, very-very nice.

Finish – Peppery, lasting smoke, a bit more biting than I expected given the 43%ABV, some vanilla, salty — Yum!

In sum – As amazing as this one is, for some reason, I like the standard Lagavulin 16yr expression a bit more. Perhaps it’s because that’s what I’m used to or maybe it’s that off-balance feel I got from the nose to the palate, not sure. This is a nice little treat especially if you want the big warm peat but something a wee more sweet (should I keep rhyming here? Because, I totally can. Don’t think I can’t or won’t… Oh, you don’t believe me?? ”Beat Street, the king of the beat, I see walk that beat from across the street, uh-huh-huh, beat street is a lesson too, ’cause you can’t let the streets beat you…”)

Wow, that was unnecessary! Carrying on — This is without a doubt a warmer-upper to be enjoyed during a cool autumn evening but again, as much as I liked it, I’d be happy to keep paying the lower $$ for a Lagavulin I like more (the standard 16yr expression).

Beat Street! Now that is a blast from the past!

I'm yet to try this but I only hear very good things. Seems very highly thought on from the reviews on this site.


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!

How would you compare it with Ardbeg Uigeadail? Can I assume the Uigeadail is still a lot more powerful than the DE Laga 16?

I recently discovered the DE expressions in the form of a Talisker 1992 DE, and will now be looking for other DE expressions like this Laga 16 DE.

This is a lot gentler than the Uigeadail. Almost dangerously easy to drink - very pleasant! I prefer the Uigeadail, but it is a bit of a monster, and very complex whereas the Lagavulin 16 DE is simpler and more comfortable!


I'm already a great fan of Lagavulin 16, but I'm also a sucker for Sherry Bombs. Put the two together and wham bam thank you ma'm! The only thing that could be better would be cask strength.

Nose: smoke, iodine, slight sweetness Palate: sweet and smoke in balance 85-90

bwmccoy: Thanks for your comments. If you are interested in more detailed notes, videos and more, check out my website:

www.scotch-tasting-bums.com or become a Virtual BUM (Bureau of Malt Sippers) on the BUMS Facebook page at facebook.com//…

Cheers, Mark

I was unable to find the 1991, but I can get the 1993 Distiller's Edition. Has anybody tried this one? Is it comparable to th '91?

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