Posts Tagged With: Scotch Whisky

Tasting Notes: Lagavulin – 16 Years Old

Lagavulin 16

Lagavulin is widely recognised as one of the leading names in whisky throughout the globe and regularly falls within the same breath as its fellow southern Islay neighbours Laphroaig and Ardbeg. The 16 year old is the core expression of Lagavulin and has (deservedly) garnered cult status amongst whisky fans and peatheads worldwide. Each facet of the dram is distinctive and should be savoured.

ABV: 43%


Nose

M: It’s hard to describe without using its own name – its simply, big Lagavulin smoke.

R: So I get a real outdoorsy smell from this. Like a camp fire.With like a caramel-ishness.

 

Taste

M: Caramel sweetness and big rich, fruity flavours at first that are then instantly battered by full malty smoke and oak.

R: I find it kind of evaporates on the tongue very quickly, then fills your mouth with smoky deliciousness.


Finish

M: Brown sugar sweetness upfront and then the smoke builds and builds as it coats the throat on the way down, leaving a peppery spiciness in the smoky aftermath.

R: It’s like it’s light and delicate but simultaneously potent and powerful.


Verdict

M: Amazing. It’s hard to describe as it’s just distinctly Lagavulin. Regardless of whether or not you like smoky whiskies, one encounter with this dram and you can understand why it has cult status. “Mother’s milk” as Ron Swanson would put it.

R: Final verdict, for me, it’s not an every day kind of whisky. It’s the sort of thing you need to be in the right mood for. It’s an evening in front of the fire, with dressing gowns and cigars and a leather bound book kind of drink. One other point. I had a bit of a sinus headache when I poured the glass. It’s gone now.

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Lagavulin Bay

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Tasting Notes: Ardbeg – Uigaedail

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Ardbeg Uigaedail

Pronounced oo-gah-dahl, and named after the loch that provides Ardbeg with its spring water on the south east of Islay, this peaty puncher is one of the distillery’s core expressions. The master distillers have taken their revered smoky malt and given it a final and thorough sherry butt maturation. Bottled at a high percentage, this monster promises to be a heavy hitter in all aspects of the drinking exprience.

ABV: 54.2%

Nose

M: Quite sweet and surprisingly floral but sherry pokes through. The usual Ardbeg peat is there but seems to be restrained.

Taste

M: Ardbeg’s trademark peaty hit then really makes itself known upfront but isn’t as bruising as you would expect and makes way for a fruitcake/fudge taste with big, strong flavours to balance the peat.

Finish

M: A lasting burn with peat and sherry entwined, but the peat has the last laugh when you breathe again.

Verdict

M: This is a peaty whisky turned up to 11! It goes beyond being just about Ardbeg’s distinctive peat and power. The high ABV and peat on paper make it seem like it might blow your head off but actually it is balanced really well and doesn’t need taming with water at all – which makes it dangerous stuff. Definitely not a driver’s drink. The sherry influence is notable with rich, rounded fruit flourishes. Big flavours, big finish, big smile on my face.

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Tasting Notes: Auchentoshan – 12 Years Old

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Auchentoshan’s Spirit

Based just outside of Glasgow city centre, Auchentoshan (pronounced ‘ock-un-tosh-un’) prides itself on the purity created via its triple distillation. This process and the local water source result in Auchentoshan producing relatively delicate whiskies, distinctive of the lowland regions also antiqautedly referred to as “ladies’ drams”. It is the flavours from this process and their maturation that makes for the distillery to be so distinctive. The 12 year old symbolises the best overall qualities that an Auchentoshan has to offer and develops upon the “Classic” entry level expression.

ABV: 40%

 

Nose

M: Delicate and fruity. Like sherbet lemons and light currants.

S: Get your nose in there, you will be rewarded with hits of sherry, vanilla, orange peel and currants.

 

Taste

M: Cinnamon and citrus notes ending with a piney hit.

S: A Christmas cake bonanza: marzipan and currents. Piney wood bits too.

 

Finish

M: Smooth and quick leaving some red fruit/berries behind.

S: Smooth with burnt oranges (where did they come from!?), sticky with honey.

 

Verdict

M: An easy-going session whisky. Simple, clean, fruity and more-ish. Definitely one that all whisky drinkers can enjoy – at least I hope so because it’s what gave to my wedding party.

S: Grows with complexity, a real mouthful bursting with sweet but charred citrus fruits.

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