Nose: Peat, sherry, and salt. The peat is big, but restrained. The sherry is fruity, sweet, and rich. I get blood oranges, earl grey tea, rooibos tea, leather, spearmint, eucalyptus, charcoal, and oak.
Palate: Medium bodied, with an easy, paced arrival. Peat, smoke, sherry, spearmint, rooibos tea, cigar, eucalyptus, throat lozenges, tangerine, smoked meat, dark chocolate, and mellow roast coffee.
Finish: Long, effortless, smooth, and silky. Spearmint becomes peppermint (Mentos?). Charred oak, campfire smoke, pastrami, sherry, licorice, almonds, Irish coffee, Amarula liqueur, and some soft, lovely oak.
Thoughts: What a classic. There’s something about the Lagavulin house style that gets me every time. The beauty is in the controlled quality of the peat presentation. BUT... this might not please the big flavour guys who want a cask strength peaty blast. While it could be described as a whisky with big flavour, there’s no ‘attack,’ or ‘peaty blast.’ This is controlled, paced, and measured. ‘Smooth’ isn’t always a trait I like in a whisky, but it works here. For something so rich and flavourful, it’s also very graceful and effortless. This stuff is strength, sophistication, and finesse in a bottle.