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The nose is powerful. If you stand or sit still with this glass in your hand, you get constant reminders of it, from a couple of feet away. The peat and smoke is strong, but underlying it is a toffee sweetness balanced by an iodine sea salt savoury-ness. It has a hint of wood too. It's much more complex than the powerful long-range smell would suggest. Not that there is anything wrong with strong peat and smoke, but the subtle balanced smell along with it is genuinely complex and good.
The taste starts light, sweet and fruity, followed by a gentle wash of smoke and nuts, with a hint of iodine and sea salt. It's still very robust and full of character, but it is surprisingly gentle, even civilised.
The gentleness continues with the finish which is long and salty, with more undercurrents of iodine, peat and fruit.
I bought this one several months after the Lagavulin 16 after hearing people rave about it. In my personal opinion, I was looking for a peat monster, and was a little bit disappointed at how gentle it was. I'm looking forward to trying the Laphroaig 10 Year old cask strength to see how that compares.
That said, in a field of very good malts, this more than holds its own.