Originally released to commemorate the distillery's 200th anniversary, this eight-year-old has now been added as a permanent addition to the core range. Big and smoky, with sweet spice that becomes apparent with a drop of water.
Serving Suggestion: Make time to enjoy neat in a whisky nosing glass, or with maybe just a drop of water.
Nose: Immediately quite soft with clean, fresh notes, faint hints of milk chocolate and lemon and then developing fragrant tea-scented smoke alongside nose-drying, maritime aromas, with subtle cereal. A prickliness seen earlier now develops, while the trademark Lagavulin dryness emerges as fresh newsprint. Softly sooty. Softer, fuller and more rounded with water: it’s not hugely fruity but there’s just a trace of red berry preserve, perhaps, beneath the smokiness, which comes sharply into focus.
Palate: A soothing light texture, with a magnificently full-on Lagavulin taste that’s somehow even bigger than you expect; sweet, smoky and warming, with a growing, smoky pungency, then dry, with more smoke. Charred, with minty, dark chocolate. Beautifully balanced midpalate then salty, oven-charred baked potato skins and smoke. Water rounds things, the taste still mighty yet more succulent, sweeter, spicier and now tongue-tingling, mint-fresh and warming.
Finish: Lovely; clean, very long and smoky. Smoothly, subtle minted smoke surrounds chocolate tannins, leaving a late drying note to emerge in time. It’s warming, soft and still smoky with water, not as long or intense now, yet still leaving the palate dry as sweet smoke lingers on the breath.
San Fransisco World Spirits Competition: DOUBLE GOLD - 2018