Lagavulin 8 “200th anniversary Editon”
This whisky was released to much fanfare in the whiskysphere, with reason. There is so little lagavulin variety on the market, the masses are starved.
It provides things fans of the 12yr old love, little to no cask play (the color is like Sauvignon), it’s served at a decent proof (48%ABV) and lastly that resounding 8 yrs age statement all bold and brash youth instead of an NAS with a fairytale name.
We know from many other contemporaries that young Islays can be superb and explosive (if a bit narrow in profile at times).
Nose: Mineral, green, diesel fumes, burnt hay, almond oil. Its very mezcal like, génépi, bakelite, ashy smoke. With time freshly shucked oysters, a smidge of powdered sugar and pears
Palate: Dark, sharp,oily, acrid smoke. Bitter plants and artichokes, toasted and salted marcona almonds and lovage.
Finish: Bitter, inky, wet wool and grapefruit pith, it’s medium in length very drying. The quality of the distillate is without reproach.
Somedays this is really superb, firing on all cylinders. Other days it’s kind of hangs on to one note and goes with it. I wasn’t crazy about this bottle at first. I didn’t gas it and I find the final half much better although I don’t think it’s changed dramatically. A good young uncompromising whisky. I’m not convinced this was only a cash grab.
That said, as many feared (or wanted) this has become part of the regular line-up. At prices like I’ve seen in some states (45-65$) I would buy this again. Locally it’s a 100$ at that price point it competes with many other whiskys and the 16yr old is 129$, I am unlikely to buy a replacement soon.