Merry Christmas everyone!
Lagavulin celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2016, with the release of a Lagavulin 8 Years and a Lagavulin 25 Year Old.
This limited edition was matured in sherry casks and bottled at cask strength. The name of each distillery manager and the dates of their stewardship have been etched onto each bottle, with the names of founders John Johnston and Archibald Campbell located prominently above their 19 successors.
Lagavulin 25 yo (51,7%, OB 2016, 200th Anniversary, sherry casks, 8000 btl.)
Nose: very nice, it has this sherried, dark profile of the original 21 Years but it’s more elegant. Lots of Pu-Erh teas, charred wood, some dried Cecina beef, hints of dates and toffee underneath. Oranges add freshness. A touch of cedar, leather, cigar leaves and chestnuts. Flax and corroded iron. Belgian chocolate. Plenty of tiny notes, you can spend hours with this nose without getting tired.
Mouth: excellent again. Same cigar / tobacco feeling, tarry smoke, but also coastal notes and fresh oranges and sugared mint tea. Hints of fig syrup and cinnamon pastry. Barbecued meats with a honey coating. Immaculate balance of smokiness and sweet sherry.
Finish: long, leathery, with dark black tea, burnt grasses and leafy notes.
This is a classic Lagavulin, one that goes beyond the Lagavulin 21 Years in my opinion, and comes close to other masterpieces like the Lagavulin 37 Year Old. Originally around € 1100. The Whisky Exchange still has it (at a premium).