We all know that Lagavulin leans towards the peaty side, but -how could we balance that and, still, recognise it as such? Well, here's a crazy idea: PX casks.
So we get some barrels that previously were used to age Pedro Ximénez sweet sherries, and use them to add some new personality traits to our old friend. The result? Let's find out.
To begin with, let me say that we're talking here about the 1998 year, and that it was bottled in 2014, so ageing is 16 years (not 8, not 12), same time as the basic Laga'. Right. Now for the tasting notes:
A clean and intense amber pour with a certain greenish cast. Aroma is mainly peaty, as was expected (oaken smoke, leather, clove, tobacco) but, alongside this there is a complete set of scents: fruit (lime, Seville orange, umeboshi, pineapple), spice (black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon), greens (tea, lawn, olive, pine needle)... Very complex nose despite its distinct smoky peatiness.
Although it has been aged in PX casks (and we know that's a dessert wine) the initial mouthfeel is dry, rather than sweet, even though the alcohol is warm and noticeable. Interesting. The sip has nice umami and salty notes, which I really appreciate, and it covers the entire mouth. Finally, a crisp, bitterless, medium-lasting finish with signature smoke reminiscences. Boy, do I like it.