Lagavulin, Lg6 (Speciality Drinks)

Here is a review of the sixth release of Lagavulin in the Whisky Exchange’s Elements of Islay series. I’ve previously reviewed the Lg1, Lg2 and Lg5, all of which I liked very much (Lg3 and Lg4 somehow escaped my notice). As with all Elements of Islay releases, this has no age statement—and like all recent Elements of Islay releases, this was far more expensive than the early releases in the series were, just a few years ago.

This has been sold out on the Whisky Exchange’s website for a while but as of a month and change ago there were still a number available in their Covent Garden store. I purchased it there for everyday drinking while in London and have in fact already disposed of the bottle (these notes were written up last week). Which means I need to get another heavily peated whisky for the next five weeks. 

Lagavulin, Lg6 (53.7%; Speciality Drinks; from my own bottle)

Nose: A big hit of phenolic peat with disinfectant and rubber gaskets (of old medicine bottles). Sweeter on the second sniff and a little more cereally. The smoke gets ashier with more time, with some bitter edges. With a few drops of water the sweet note moves in the direction of almonds/almond oil.

Palate: Starts out sweet and then the ash hits; transitions to a big note of lemon as I swallow. Very drinkable at full strength with an oily mouthfeel. Saltier with time and there’s some wet sackcloth as well. With more time a mezcal’ish floral note develops. Water brings out more of the lemon and makes it more coastal on the whole (kelp now to go with the salt).

Finish: Long. Smoke, smoke, smoke. Charred, sweet pork. More peppery here at the end (especially with water).

Comments: This is very nice and has held up quite well in the month or so that the bottle has lasted (there’s one large pour left after the one I’m drinking right now to see if the notes above need tweaking). The mezcal’ish note popped out in the second half of the bottle so if you’re not a fan of that kind of thing maybe drink it down faster. I don’t think I’ll get another bottle while I’m in London but am glad to have got this one. I liked it much better with water.

Rating: 88 points.

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