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- Brand: The Whisky Exchange
- ABV: 58.5%
The London whisky shop The Whisky Exchange bottled quite a few gems. This Islay Whisky, bottled a 103° proof, is one of them. It is an Ileach matured on a bourbon hogshead. Since the PR blurb speaks of a mystery Islay whisky from the south coast, it has to be one of the Kildalton Trio: Ardbeg, Lagavulin or Laphroaig.
The nose is sharp, young and salty. Quite a bit of iodine, fish nets and wet hay, but also a nice shade of toffee. Very typically Islay with peat in an undisputed leading role.
It is very oily on the palate, feisty on white pepper and very hot, but sweeter than expected. I have pure ashes on the palate, mixed with sweet peat, salty oysters, smoked bacon, earth and quite a bit of vanilla and caramel. So it shows traits of all three Kildalton distilleries. Earth reminds me of Ardbeg, the smoked bacon is very Laphroaig, so I am betting this this is young Lagavulin.
The finish is drying with loads of ashes and brine and lasts forever.
Whether this is Ardbeg, Lagavulin or Laphroaig is really not that important. What is, is that this is an amazingly good Islay whisky. Long sold out, but sometimes you can pick one up at an auction. Was originally priced around 50 EUR.