My First Taste Of Lagavulin

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Wow, no real activity here since I started a thread myself
(about Ardbeg Uigeadail) two years ago? (Well, other than
a post from a fellow who wanted to buy "Thorne" Scotch,
apparently unaware that that distillery went out of
business in 1914, over 100 years earlier.)

Well, how about something on-topic? Tonight, for the first
time in my life, I purchased some Lagavulin (specifically,
a 750ml bottle of their 8-year-old). Here are my tasting
notes I posted to Facebook:

"Wow, what a peaty, smokey, spicey, olivey, briney, tobaccoey,
malty, caramely beverage. Rather like Laphroaig, but more
masculine and aggressive. If Laphroaig is The Lady Of Islay,
then Lagavulin is The Gentleman Of Islay. Gotta be careful
with this one, though; it's smooth and alluring and easy to
guzzle (even straight and room-temp), but it's 96 proof so
if you drink more than a couple of ounces it'll knock you
on your ass."

So, who else here likes Lagavulin?

And, any single-malt scotch recommendations? I like sweet
and spicey whiskeys (Macallan, Glenmorangie), and peaty
Islay whiskeys (Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Lagavulin),
But I find the Speyside style (Glen Livet, Glen Fiddich)
rather boring. I much prefer "interesting and complex"
over "mild and inoffensive".

Two whiskeys I've been meaning to try are Aberlour and
Talisker. How do they compare to Lagavulin?

Robbie Hatley
Location: Midway City, California, USA
Email:    lonewolf (at) well (dot) com

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Re: My First Taste Of Lagavulin

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I used to love Lagavulin but then found it overpowering, while I still
very much enjoy Laphroaig. If you enjoy interesting and complex it
might be worth you look out for Longrow from the Springbank stable of
whisky. It's rather nicely peated and might meet your needs.

At the moment I'm enjoying a Loch Lomond from the Scotch Malt Whisky
Society and enjoying it enormously. Because I live close to the vaults
it makes it (all too) easy to pop down for another bottle!



Re: My First Taste Of Lagavulin
On 2018-12-02 08:09:20 +0000, Robbie Hatley said:

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Aberlour is quite drinkable, but it's not an in-your-face malt like the  
south Islays.
Talisker is from Skye. It has less peat than the peaty Islays, but a really
interesting peppery element. I like it as well as the best Islays.

Don't ignore the Caol Ila. It has a place among the great Islay malts. But the
distillery hasn't stuck to a well defined flavour profile, and that  
might have hurt
its popularity.

You might also want to keep an eye out for Islay bottlings under other names.
Some of the distilleries, notably Lagavulin, sometimes sell casks that
do not quite fit the official distillery profile, and they show up with no age
statement and without the name of the distillery that made them.

The one that's available in Canada at the moment is Smokehead, and people
who really know their single malts mostly agree that it's a young Lagavulin,
younger than the 8-year-old you like. It's very peaty, tarry, smoky and  
aggressive, in your face.
A similar malt that I recall from years ago is Finlaggan and there were  
others I've forgotten.
Ardbeg and Caol Ila are other possible sources for such malts.

If you encounter an unidentified Islay, especially at a good price,  
take a chance on it,
or run an Internet search. Somebody out there has tried it and written  
about it. Tasting notes
can be outrageously purple prose, but once you've read a few  
descriptions of malts
you have tasted yourself, you can develop a sense of what they mean.

(I'm retired and can't afford to keep many single malts around these  
days. At the moment,
I have a Smokehead and a Laphroaig 10 on the go. They're reasonably priced and,
to my palate, very tasty.)


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