Because of the corona crisis no Islay Malt & Music Festival this year, but luckily a special release for Feis Ile 2020 was released. Only problem: Diageo offered it online, but only for people who could provide a delivery address in the UK. So I talked to a buddy to received the bottles for me (2 from Lagavulin en 2 from Caol Ila) and have them couriered over. This Lagavulin, which matured no less than 20 years, took about two days to sell out. With only 6.000 bottles, that surprised me a bit. It matured on a combination of refill hogsheads and both oloroso and PX sherry casks. It’s a very inviting amber with thick legs.
The nose is surprisingly soft on green herbs, linseed oil, hint of orange peel and a discreet trace of smoke. Hint of dried apricots next to a doused campfire. But the smoke is surprisingly soft. Suspiciously soft, in fact. Reminds me also of those typical Scotch digestive biscuits (wonderful with a cup of tea, by the way). After a few moments some eucalyptus and some red lace candy. I can nose this glass for about a quarter of an hour and remain entertained, for this is simply delicious. But the Lagavulin DNA is pretty well hidden.
Oh, my, what a body! Oily to almost syrupy. Immediately sweet on the palate and very smoky. The nose did not prepare me for this. On the palate it really explodes and becomes a textbook example of Lagavulin with those typical ashes. Mildly drying. A sweet note like candied fruit. The moke becomes very big. I’m getting cozily warm.
The finish… this is not a finish. This is a Grand Finale. Long, warm, dark & sweet, mildly drying, spicy, smoky and everlasting. Absolutely fantastic.
A classic Lagavulin with a dark and sweet twist. The nose kept you guessing, but on the palate it becomes a flavor bomb and the finish is simply out of this world. What a wonderful Lagavulin. I’m hiding this one in my cabinet until winter has arrived.