First night of starting drinking again. It’s about time is what I say.
I can be a pretty cynical person. At least I used to be.
In the old days (not like the old country with old people and Coke Classic), I was a cynical little bugger. No company brought out anything other than to make a buck. No one was here to help you, no one could help you, and don’t even think anyone (but me, of course) gave a shit about you.
Well as time went on and I stopped listening to (as much) punk music, I realized that was a dire way to look at things. Yes, I should be skeptical, however in such a way that I’m not just putting down the collective efforts and altruism that is throughout the world.
That said, I work in business. I know most businesses only release something when they are sure it’ll turn a profit. Or eventually lead to a profit.
As such, I was skeptical when Lagavulin 8 was released as part of the 200th anniversary. I mean, a younger than normal malt? That isn’t cask strength and with no interesting casks?
Who are they trying to fool here?
However the young punk in me was soon abated by logic and more information. Yeah, it wasn’t cask strength. However it’s a decently high Abv. And yeah, they could have brought out a Lagavulin that was older than the Oaks and cost a king’s ransom. And then what? I’d never have it and would complain it’s a cash grab.
Suffice to say, Diageo, in this case, seems to want to share the wealth a little bit. They did something for the people. It isn’t NAS and it isn’t a White Dog or some other BS. It’s a younger, higher Abv Islay, which can be tasty.
So, rather than ranting and raving and acting like a fool, I decided to try it. After a bottle split, I’m able to.
See? Works out well. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Not currently available at the LCBO (at the time of this post)
Colour: 7.5Y 9/4
Nose: Malt, smoke, brine, black pepper, mint, manure, Mexican hot chocolate, pear
More complex nose than I’d ever expect. This has more of the peat than the 12 or 16, and yet holds onto interesting flavours at the same time.
I expected a peat bomb. I got a peat firecracker with chocolate notes. That’s a good thing (don’t put firecrackers in your mouth, moron).
Taste: Pear, peat, cocoa, brine, lemongrass
Less complex than the nose, however what few flavours this have are easily evident and big. It has oomph. An oomph I’ve been looking for recently. My search for oomph is good.
Finish: Tobacco, smoke, brine, canned pears
Again, simple. Nothing crazy here. Doesn’t give you pause. It’s sweet, fruity, and smokey. Like apple bacon. Or bacon apples. Take your pick.
Conclusion: This is the amped up Lagavulin I never thought I wanted and am glad it came out once. It’s a big smoke product that shows off the different aspects of Lagavulin come from year 8 and go from there.
I’m impressed. This is better than I originally expected. I expected something silly, but it’s actually a cool, whisky nerd release. So have a sample, or buy a bottle. It’s inexpensive and pretty nice.
Scotch review #460, Islay review #94, Whisky Network review #753