Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Lagavulin 8yo 200th Anniversary

Spartan Lagavulin

0 1088

@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

28th Sep 2016

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    88

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

With Lagavulin’s 200th birthday drawing near and with many of the fans concerns were growing: would Diageo would make us pay dearly for the jubilee edition, are they cocky enough to force a NAS down our throats? Surprise, oh surprise, none of that, with a wink to the literary monument that is Alfred Barnard’s ‘The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom’ they gave us a youngish 8yo whisky bottled at 48% and solely matured on American oak casks. This ‘affordable’ (it costs twice as much as the 16yo here, make of that what you will!) expression was generally well received by the crowds and it didn’t take long before I too purchased a bottle. Alas, it was emptied in a single session with some of my colleagues at an office party, without me taking notes. So here is a second attempt with a sample for a fellow malt enthusiast.


Description: presumably largely distilled in 2008, matured for 8 years in refill American oak casks, bottled in 2016 at 48% for the 200th Anniversary Edition.

Nose: clean medicinal notes, some motor oil & rubber, iodine, brine, marzipan and beeswax. With a whiff of banana, and do I detect seaweed and oysters?

Mouth: body less rich and rounded than I’ve come to expect from Lagavulin, but with a frank and straightforward palate of ash, oak, tar and rubber, once again that fruity touch of creamy bananas emerges, interesting.

Finish: medium long and restrained with a bitter touch in the tail.


Verdict: straightforwardness is the key here. One would expect that they would give such a youngish whisky the typical ‘microwave’ treatment, artificially aromatising the whisky through a series of wood finishes. But none of that here, they opted for a strong muscular Spartan version of their classic. This is a purely spirit-driven single malt, exploiting all the assets already present in Lagavulin’s new make, which in itself would make for a great product.

Related Lagavulin reviews

10 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Thanks for your nice review, @Pandemonium.

Younger whisky at a higher ABV seems to be the wave of the future to keep the aged-whisky-scarcity howling dogs at bay. It is a logical step, and one which the US producers are also using.

3 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Thanks for your very interesting review.

Here in Ontario the 16 YO is $160. The 8 is not available at all. In Calgary I've seen the 16 for ~$120s. In contrast My brother in law picked an 8 up for $110 (before discount and coupons brought it down to $84).

They make it difficult to compare prices. The 16 is twice the age but the 8 has 5% points higher ABV.

I haven't yet been united with my Lag 8 bottle, but I'm looking forward tasting it because, after all, that's the most important variable...

3 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

Nozinan, as always, the ideal thing to do is to taste 'em blind then make yourself fill in the blank: "I like this enough to pay $_____."

If you try to value a whisky based on the specs that drive the taste experience—aging, cask selection, dilution amount, etc.—instead of the taste experience itself, you're missing the forest for the trees.

(I, of course, use "you" in the generic general sense here, not in the "Nozinan, you silly goose" sense.)

3 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Great stuff. If you roll this one around your tongue for a while you know you are drinking serious whisky: not super smooth, but with tons of flavour. I wonder if it is exclusively 8 year old whisky, or if there might be some slightly older components. It's certainly quite different from the 16. Nice review @Pandemonium, I like the 88 for the 8.

@Nozinan. My friend just got back from Calgary where he picked up Lagavulin 16 for $86 plus GST=$90.30. Uigeadail $86 incl GST and Talisker 10 $77.70 incl GST. All purchased at the Superstore.

Cheers.

3 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

The Lag 8 is $109 w/tax in BC. $105 w/tax at Liquor Depot in Edmonton. Looks like in Alberta it costs more than the 16, but around $30 less than the 16 in BC. I think it is well worth Can$100 and change. In BC we would consider that a good price relative to the price of most single malts here.

3 years ago 0

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium commented

Thanks @Victor, @Nozinan, @BlueNote, @OIJas: the higher price was to be expected, they consistantly ask more money for the 12yo as well. It can be justified if the casks involved were much more expensive to procure

3 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

Let's not buy into the notion that whisky prices are reflective of production costs. They're based solely on the market, on what we're willing to pay.

3 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Well said @OLJas. We're the saps that are driving the prices.

3 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

BlueNote, I wouldn't (always!) go that far. I just think it's helpful to understand pricing so you can "shake off" misconceptions about what you're paying for. You're not paying for the production costs—you're paying for the drinking experience and what that's worth to you.

That should be the way to approach it anyway, but it's also the truth of the pricing.

3 years ago 0

Taco commented

I think 88 is a reasonable score. The 12 YO is better, but costs nearly twice as much. I'd definitely buy this again!

3 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in