This is a natural cask strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky with great depth of taste from the essential Islay distillery, Lagavulin, on the island’s rocky south coast. Beautifully diverse in nature yet direct in appeal, it’s both complex and rewarding and simply a delight to drink. With minerality bursting into fruit and layers of smoke, it perfectly expresses the distillery character.
Easily approached at natural strength; rich and sweet, with a first burst of liquorice quickly supplanted by greener notes. The sweetness grows in the mid-palate, as golden syrup suffused with the savoury smoke of burning leaves, and smoked meat. That smoke becomes sweeter and spicier with black pepper and cinnamon, nutmeg and golden sugar. Finally, the greenness returns as gently drying grass. Water (it can take a good splash) emphasizes lightness, sweetness and smoke; the smoke now more mineral, the syrup and fruit simpler, fresher.
Simple, natural and mild; clean and fresh, with intense sweetness at the front, prickly smoke at the back and savoury, green and earthy notes at its core. Sweet sponge or liquorice, old-fashioned cleansing soap and wet wool are to the fore, then rock pools and sandy beaches, burning pine needles and ferns. The smoke builds, adding richer notes of smoked bacon and more austere mineral notes of cooled beach bonfires. In time the sweetness is lighter, with fruitier tones of apple, sweet pear and barbecued banana. A drop of water introduces a peppery note to the nose-feel and a thread of smoke to the aroma.
Sweet and of medium length, with a lingering smoky aftertaste.