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Lagavulin 1995 Distillers Edition bottled 2013

Average score from 4 reviews and 4 ratings 92

Lagavulin 1995 Distillers Edition bottled 2013

Product details

  • Brand: Lagavulin
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Series: Distillers Edition
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Vintage: 1995
  • Bottled: 2013

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@hunggar
Lagavulin 1995 Distillers Edition bottled 2013

These Laga DE’s are getting expensive, aren’t they? But still, those of us who love a good sherry/peat fix are bound to heed the call sooner or later. Here we have the 1995 edition, a 16 year old expression that has spent some time in PX casks. Just a drop of water will do, don’t drown this one.

Nose: Fruity, deep, and dark. Very berry, with blackberries, gooseberries, strawberries, and cherries. Sherry, peat. dark chocolate, mocha, raisins, rice wine, leather, and brown sugar. Busy and complex nose.

Palate: True to Lagavulin form, this is smooth, creamy, and paced. Laga-style peat, dark chocolate, hazelnut, sherry, berries, coffee, cranberry, and raisins.

Finish: Medium-long, becoming increasingly salty and drying. Peat, strawberry, peach, cherry, hazelnut, cream, vanilla custard, molasses, oak, mocha, and leather.

Thoughts: Really complex stuff. I could fish tasting notes out of this glass all day. But at its core it stays true to the house style, with a sophisticated integration of sherry and peat. It’s similar to the 16, but with much more dramatic flair. This is sweeter and fruitier, with the sherry more upfront. Salty and sweetie combine well, and the finish is dynamic and layered. Dessert Laga, really nice.

@Pierre_W, this is a fantastic dram, but I did fail to mention in my review that it's on the light side. 43% does hold it back, and it's a sweet one. It's very good, but it's no 12 year old (which is cheaper). That being said, it's really layered stuff. And yes, very berry.

Great tasting notes, @hunggar! So far I have somehow not managed to try the DE but with your 'encouragement' this should change soon. :-) I am a big fan of the 12-year old releases and this version might give another perspective on Lagavulin. By the way, I like your 'very berry' description: reminds me of an expression I heard in Japan and I think I know exactly what you mean by that. Good stuff!

@tjb

This expression takes an epic dram and tries to improve it.

Nose: Dusty, smokey, buttery, peaty. Big powerful flavours combining to make a fabulous nosing experience. There is a salty seaweed tang under ripe cherries and dates.

On first sip you can tell it is a Lagavulin. The wonderful smoke flows around the mouth but compared to the standard 16yo it is slightly lighter. The normal strong flavours make way for a more subtle smoke and peat that marries well with the fruits. The sherry is there but it takes a subtle role to complement the salty smoke. I can taste molasses and raisins with a nuts.

The finish is long, sweet and smokey. A really wonderful dram.

Agreed. Absolutely stellar. And makes an especially fine Christmas dram, in my opinion.

n

nose: kippers, brine and sea water, strawberry jam, sweet, and a ray of pure red fruit, like sunshine coming through a cloudy day (if you take my meaning)

palate: much sweeter than the 16, a woody sweetness, which yields slightly to a very salted caramel and smokiness. light tar, and a definite sootiness. walnuts, cured ham.

finish: finish is reminiscent of the 16, but there's more ham, and the fruit is more noticeably red. a bitter tar runs in the back, but all in the manner of a charming Lagavulin.

This is very clearly Lagavulin, but emphasizing the subtle sweetness, there is distinctly red fruit running through this (it is PX finish, after all), and a gentle ham. The aromas and flavors are more distinct than in the 16, but it's less seductive in feel. All the same, this remains an excellent bottling, though it falls just behind the slightly better integrated 16.

s

Lagavulin 16 was not the first Islay whisky I ever had but it was the one which made me understand and appreciate the complexity held within Islay scotch. I still think of it as one of my favorites and I had wanted to try the distiller's edition for a long time. When the 1995 came out a few months ago I found it for $100. I'd never spent that much on any bottle of liquor before but I really wanted to try it. Once I bought it I opened it as soon as I got it home. I loved it but I was a little disappointed considering its price. I now review it from the last dram of the bottle that's been open for several months.

It's color is certainly influenced by the pedro ximenez cask, being much more on the brown side rather yellow like most bourbon barrel aged Islay scotches. It's a medium to full bodied scotch that begins just like the 12 and 16 year Lagavulin, with lots of smoke. In this regard, I'd have to same that this distiller's edition is more simplistic than its cousins. With this smokiness, the 16 and most certainly the 12 possess a much more powerful flavor of pure, untainted peat and oak. In the finish though, the distiller's edition takes it a few steps further that the others. There's a lot of vanilla that appears sweetly around the cheeks but the tongue experiences a more tannic, oaky flavor. I've had more complex scotches but the finish on the distiller's edition is nearly endless. Some slight herbal and vegetal flavors appear later alongside the still present vanilla and cocoa.

It's taken me a long time to decide but I think I've finally come to the conclusion that this vintage of the distiller's edition is better than the 16 yr, but only slightly. It's not incredibly different that the 16 yr but its finish is much longer and more complex, which is saying something considering that the 16 yr does not have a short finish at all. I just have to complain about the price. I bought the distiller's edition for $100 dollars and the 16 yr is regularly available where I live for 65-70 dollars, and sometimes even less (I bought my current bottle at costco for $52!). For being roughly double the price of the 16, the distiller's edition is not worth the extra money. Perhaps the 1991 vintage which seems to get all the attention was something incredibly special that the 1995 didn't match, but disparity of prices between the 16 and the distiller's edition is too great for me considering the distiller's edition's only minimal increase in complexity. All those complaints aside though, Lagavulin distiller's edition is an excellent and wonderfully balanced scotch.

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