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Lagavulin, 16 yo


Lagavulin (Lagga-Voolin) means "hollow where the mill is" and has been there since 1816. Since James Logan Mackie & Co of Glasgow bought the distillery in 1867, Lagavulin is one of the three Kildalton distilleries (with Ardbeg and Laphoraig) on the south-east shore of Islay. Since the 16yo was introduced as a part of a Classic Malts range as the representative of Islay it has been impressing drinkers everywhere. It is pretty incredible that 3 neighbouring distilleries can vary in character so much.

Lagavulin came to my attention as my collegue Robartes kept announcing it as his favourite whisky. Priced at 40 Euro, and being classified as a Classic Malt, this is certainly not something you want to mix in your cola or coffee.

The nose : peat, lots of smoke, orange zest. I smell cheese, Grommit. Very weird indeed, very complex.

The taste : Holy crap ! Complex, even more than the smell. The taste equivalent of a 5 minute video clip compressed into 10 seconds. More peat, more smoke, dark chocolate. The most difficult malt I ever tried.