The story: As mentioned in the Lagavulin 16 review, we have been doing side-by-side comparisons of the Lagavulin bottlings we have. It’s been incredibly fun and educational, and the 16 serves as an excellent reference point.
The end rankings were as follows:
- Exclusive Malts Isle of Islay
- Lagavulin 18 (2018 Feis)
- Lagavulin 16
- Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition 2017
Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition (left) and Lagavulin 16 (right). Darker color on the DE, but more oily body on the 16.
7 out of 10. Very Good. Some distinguishing qualities that separate it from the herd. (Our rating system)
Label if it were an SMWS: “A Blurry Selfie of Lagavulin”
Overview: Really good, but I much prefer the punch of Lagavulin 16 (which is also cheaper).
Bought for: $110/bottle
Nose: Farther away, you smell coconut, fresh zesty citrus, and lemongrass. It comes off lighter and brighter than the Lagavulin 16, which noses comparatively darker and richer. As you bring your nose closer, the barbecue sauce, candied red apples, and smoke come through.
Palate: Vanilla, barbecue, sardines, salt. There’s a small hint of medicinal cherry, but it quickly fades into smoke. You’re left with a whisper of lingering dry smoked oak and cigars, but without the creaminess and directness of the Lagavulin 16. But when I taste it (without the Laga 16 reference point) it’s still a “wet” type of dryness.
As soon as you taste Lagavulin 16, though, it is comparatively lighter in profile. It tastes a bit like a picture of Lagavulin with a camera that is behind a light-diffusing selfie filter.
- Vintage 2001 and bottled in 2017
- 16 years
- Aged in ex-Bourbon and Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks
- ABV 43%
- Batch: Lvg 4/506
About Lagavulin and Distiller’s Edition:
- We visited the distillery! Our recap of the distillery, where we did the tasting and nosing class, is here.
- Most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, to my surprise. I think perhaps the quality has degraded in the later batches, which seems to agree with the review by hs305 on Masters of Malt. Also corroborated with this vertical tasting by WhiskyNotes.
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