Colour: A very pale straw.
Nose: Sweet lemon sherbet, some faint floral notes – think rose petals. A few subtle bread and biscuit aromas…like opening a packet of buttery shortbread.
Palate: Such a smooth, oily mouthfeel as you take the first sip. The warmth and flavours quickly quickly build – a smokey, savoury, food-like saltiness. It reminds me of a crispy skin smoked salmon fillet; sea salt flakes sprinkled atop and the crispy caramelisation of the skin giving a few sweeter notes. Some bok choy with hoisin sauce on the side to provide that rich salty tang.
Finish: A few aniseed notes in the fade, black jelly beans or those Allen’s black cat lollies. A long drying finish, plenty of .
Comments: Light on for peatiness in the nose, but it saves its punch for the palate and the long, glorious finish. For me, it’s not an overly smokey whisky – but it packs loads of punch in terms of peaty, organic notes.
I actually found this one a bit challenging to review – it took a few drams to really unpick all the layers. Looking back on my tasting notes, maybe I was just over-analysing it…this is a reasonably simple whisky with some great flavours vying for your attention. It’s not as smooth or as smokey as the Lagavulin 16, nor as flavoursome as the Lagavulin 12 Year Old Cask Strength, but it definitely complements the lineup and doesn’t tread on the toes of its elder siblings. The Lagavulin 12 Year Old Cask Strength is still by far my favourite expression though.