Lagavulin is celebrating its 200th Anniversary this year, and they are doing it in style, releasing special expressions throughout the year. First they released the 8 year old 200th Anniversary edition I reviewed in May (notes here), which was nice, but not quite what we were waiting for… Then they released the brilliant 12 year old CS (After this one i know..) I think we know that was not he last edition that was coming out , as Diageo was going to release something really special, and so they did. This 25 year bottle has been released in honor of the managers who have made the distillery what it is today. The expression is aged for 25 years in sherry casks, and the bottle is listing the name of each of the distillery managers. It’s bottled at a nice 51,7% and the only downside of the price – $1,200 or so.. Ouch.
Lagavulin 25 yo, 200th Anniversary edition , 51,7% , €995 (at LMDW)
Nose: Oh yea, this is packed with sherry goodness, one of the most sherried Lagavulins I’ve had, and I am liking this a lot! I could best describe it as drinking strong, spiced black tea, while sitting near a wood fire (on a beach on Islay), and eating freshly smoked meat, while smoking a good Cuban with friends. Oh yea! There’s a lovely sootiness, as well as sour sherry note, while the trademark Lagavulin wood smoke, is magically present, BBQ and all, if you take another sniff, there’s also a nice medicinal note to it, with some fresh bandages, and tar. Quite epic, if I might say.
Palate: The palate does not disappoint : It’s Big, it’s bold and it’s sherried, but it’s very elegant. Old Leather sofas , soot, ripe orange, lovely sherry feel to it, with BBQ meat, delicious wood fire notes, one comes to expect of a Lagavulin, it’s all very much present, with the sherry boosting it all up. Tobacco, and more of the black tea, a hint of Oxtail soup maybe, sour sherry, and even dark chocolate at times, all under a veil of brilliant smoke, you can only get from a Lagavulin.
Finish: Long, and rewarding with the smoke/ soot and citrus going a long way.
Conclusion : It’s Excellent in every way possible, at least for me, this is one of the BEST drams of 2016, if not THE best. I may be a sucker for sherried lagavulin, but this is something else. It’s intense, yet complex, with some many different elements, that make it deep, dark, and just delicious. I am still debating if to get one ( I know it’s way out of my league, but i am so much in love with this stuff). Epic. Period. What a way to celebrate 200 years of Lagavulin. Impressive.