Lagavulin 1991, The Distillers Edition


As I’ve noted before, the Lagavulin entrty is my favourite in Diageo’s Distillers Edition series. The extra few months in PX sherry casks complements the original spirit very well in my view. My ratings of the 1993-2009 and 1997-2013 releases, which are the previous ones I’ve reviewed (here and here), are appropriately high. This one is from a couple of years earlier still: it was distilled in 1991 and released in 2007. I’ll be shocked if I don’t like it a lot as well.

Lagavulin 1991, The Distillers Edition, 2007 Release (43%; from a sample from a friend)

Nose: Big phenolic notes mixed in coastal notes (seashells, kelp). The sherry comes up from below with notes both sweet (raisins) and salty. The sweeter notes—including pipe tobacco now—come to the fore after a minute or two in the glass and then dominate. With more time there’s some citrus as well (orange peel). A few drops of water emphasize the fruit: apricot and fig now along with the orange peel.

Palate: Big charred notes (wood and pork) to go with the phenols and the sweeter sherry notes. The texture is just a bit too thin. The char and tar and sweeter notes come into nice balance as it sits and the texture seems to improve as well. Richer and richer as it goes but the tar keeps pace. Water pushes the tar back a bit and pulls out more salt and acid.

Finish: Long. The smoke takes over here, getting more tarry as it goes. The salt comes back at the end. With time there’s a fair bit of (cigar) ash at the end. As on the palate with water.

Comments: Another lovely Lagavulin DE from the 1990s. Are the current/recent ones as good? Maybe I should try one.

Rating: 89 points.

Thanks to Sku for the sample.

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