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I recently sampled Lagavulin's 1999/2015 DE, and you know what? I was utterly disappointed in it. Yes it tasted like Lagavulin, yes it was good, it just wasn't great, I think 9 yr GoT Lannister release is better. To me, the DE was just a slight shuffling around of the flavours with a bit more of coffee and chocolate, some raisin, but lacking the caramel popcorn/burnt marshmallow hint that I've come to love from both the 16 yr and the 9 yr. It also seemed to lack smoke and even tasted a bit watery.
Is the 1999/2015 a known poor vintage? Is it worth trying another year? Or do you think that perhaps the DE just isn't for me, or even overhyped?
Would be really grateful for opinions, as it's not the sort of money you want to just waste.
It's confirmed - I just don't get on with the Lagavulin DE.
I also have since tried the 9yr GoT Lagavulin and I was blown away!
It's amazing, imagine the 16 yr with no sherry influence, much more upfront, more intense and not as smooth. It's a powerful, powerful malt that demands to be taken seriously, at 46% abv no less!
Amazingly mature for 9 years - I read it's matured exclusively in first-fill bourbon barrels. But, in a blind taste test, it would be quite hard to tell it from one of the more potent batches of 16.
Also, it has an utterly amazing burnt marshmallow note that has to be tasted to be believed.
I'd pick this over the DE every time!
@James_Jackson I've sort of gone off Lagavulin as a whole recently. My replacement of choice at the moment is Smokehead, I particularly like the batch strength sherry version. While their releases aren't given age statements, the quality is definitely there.
@TheGreatMothra I haven't tried Smokehead yet, that's one of the next few to tick off my list. I may bring it forward to next on the list with your endorsement, however.
I do wish Lagavulin wasn't commanding such high prices these days as a cult malt like Macallan.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Laphroaig, but their new make spirit is lacking the heavier, oiler components of Lagavulin. Looking forward to Ardnahoe, hopefully, with their worm tubs, they'll have that heavy new make that I like. Exciting times.
I liked the Distillers edition when I drank the 2016 release but I preferred the normal 16yo release better. I have only tasted the 8yo once but I found it too young. the nine yo GOT edition was sold out very quickly in Sweden.
I wish they could sell Lagavulin at 46%ABV.
If you could afford it then the 12 TO cask strength is probably the best Lagavulin has to offer. But nowadays it is so expensive.
@James_Jackson I liked the Distillers edition when I drank the 2016 release but I preferred the normal 16yo release better. I have only tasted the 8yo once but I found it too young. the nine yo GOT edition was sold out very quickly in Sweden.I wish they could sell Lagavulin at 46%ABV.If you could afford it then the 12 TO cask strength is probably the best Lagavulin has to offer. But nowadays it is so expensive.
@James_Jackson any thoughts on the Lagavulin Distiller's edition from 2001? (bottled 2017). I am new this forum and completely unfamiliar with whisky - but trying to buy a very thoughtful gift. The person I am purchasing it for really enjoys whiskys from Islay - specifically variations of Lagavulin and Caol Ila (of course I don't actually know which variations...). I find myself reading reviews from people who love it or people who really don't. Wondering your (or anyone else's) experience?
@fm3873 I'm afraid I can't say as I haven't sampled it so I have no notes to pass on.
However, if you're looking for a Diageo whisky from Islay that's a bit "special", I can say that the Caol Ila 18y.o. is certainly a nice bump in quality.
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