After a rather excellent Caol Ila 12 I reviewed last week, it’s time to try the Lagavulin 13 which was also bottled for this year’s ‘virtual’ Feis Ile. This Lagavulin was initially matured in re-fill American oak casks, before being transferred to high char ex-Port barrels for a finishing period. There are 6,000 bottles of this whisky made available online on Malts.com .
Port and peat, sound promising, right?
Lagavulin 13 yo Feis Ile 2021 Edition , 54.4%
Nose: What a nice entry with the Tarry ropes, peaty bogs, and mossy shores, which remind me of Lagavulin bay: more soot and wood smoke, maybe a touch of iodine, and pine needles, sweet-ish smoke and lovely peat reek and wet ink. Underneath you may found sweeter and maltier tones: biscuity, a bit malty, with sweet notes of dried fruit and some blackcurrants from the port cask, some sultanas sweetness (but not an awful lot), vanilla and candied oranges peel alongside turmeric and ginger powder.
Palate: Starting on a sweet smoky note, with the sweet wine and marinated meats and sweet milk chocolate on the first wave of sensations, quite rich and sweet with more dried fruit than the nose suggested, some pepper, and even a sprinkle of cinnamon. With time notes I am getting quite a lot of lotus caramelized biscuits as well as peat/wood smoke makes its way in. The sweet smoke is complemented by some hessian, spent bandages, and more tar.
Finish: The finish is smoky and bitter with memories of dried fruit, and more char/soot and peat smoke getting dryer. The Ashy ending is very long indeed, augmented by a peppery and gingery touch.
Conclusion: A rather excellent Lagavulin too! we’re accustomed to the Special Rel 12 year olds, but this one’s is packing a nice sweet punch (a very good Port finishing indeed), without being over dominant. Highly drinkable and very enjoyable. A winner by points over the Caol Ila I think (a point, to be exact). Recommend this to every Lagavulin fan. Not exactly cheap though.