Thanks to /u/shane_il for this sample!
When is a Lagavulin not a Lagavulin? When it’s bottled by an Independent Bottler, that’s when.
Lagavulin doesn’t let you put their name on whisky that you, an IB, brings out. That’s what I’m saying.
So I’m about to review a Lagavulin that doesn’t say Lagavulin anywhere. And I only know it’s Lagavulin because of internet rumors. Classic of Islay 2015 is brought out by a German independent bottler named Jack Wiebers Whisky World. The rumors is that this is Lagavulin juice that has been aged in ex-sherry.
So, how old is this? We don’t know. What kind of casks? Rumor says Ex-Sherry Casks. Does that mean I’ll babble on and ask questions to fill time? You bet your sweet and sour ass it does!
And that’s about it. We don’t know too much about this one. It’s available in Germany. That’s a place. Let’s see how it tastes then. Okay.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Cask Number: 320
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Peat, oak, lemon, sea salt, baked bread, ginger, roses, anise, caramel, peach
Alright, this is definitely from Islay. We can all go home now.
Big notes coming out of this one. The potential ex-sherry influence doesn’t show up for awhile. Needs some time. And water.
Yeah, this needed water. Yes, I normally don’t add any water to whisky. This needed water. It happens, every so often, that just leaving a whisky to air out doesn’t work. And this time? Yeah, this time that happened. I tried it quite a bit before adding.
Taste: Licorices, pepper, raisin, strawberry, hot, BBQ sauce, marzipan
Hot. Very hot. The water helps. A lot. It’s needed. I said that already. Let’s stick to what we know: Nothing except the tasting notes.
This needs time to open up. Once it does, it’s really tasty. Like Lagavulin 16, but more nutty and more of a deep flavour.
Finish: Peat, anise, pear, dry, pepper, raspberry, BBQ pit in summer, peach, grape
And the peat really shows up at the end. And the sherry. I may have doubted it’s lineage in the beginning, only because I doubt what the internet says at all time, however the finish definitely tastes like a Lagavulin and there’s some deep red fruit at the end.
Granted it may just be bubble bath and rubbing alcohol too and I’m full of it, so YMMV.
Conclusion: Spicy, peaty, hot, rich flavours, nutty, powerful, and fruity. But enough about my ex-boyfriend, we’re talking whisky.
This is an upgrade from the traditional Lagavulin 16. Is it a huge one? No. This needs water to open it up, needs time, and needs patience. It’s crazy. I’d recommend it, however may not fly to Germany just to get it. Maybe.
Honestly if you’re a peat head or a Lagavulin fan or both, try this. It’s a treat.
Scotch review #432, Islay review #89, Whisky Network review #688