Not my favorite Islay, but undeniably good. My favorite aspect has always been the mouthfeel; it's delightfully silky, full-bodied and unctuous. Nice peat but overall I've always found this Scotch to be prettier and cleaner than others such as Laphroaig, which is more rough-and-tumble. I prefer the latter.
[Tasted at Kilians Irish Pub in Munich in order not to have to buy a bottle.]
Nose is of one straight, but not strong, rather reserved, complex and well integrated character which has lots of aspects. My first tasting revealed medium phenolic smoke (but not as strong as in the Laphroaig), a fresh, floral lift with some green pepper, but not sweet at all, despite the green apple and sandalwood notes, pretty dry and oaky actually.
In the mouth it follows the nose by and large, but without the fruit, straight, very dry, complex and well integrated, without caprioles. Mild chili note and iodine. Takes chewing it forever before some sweetness shows up. I agree with Brian Cox and find it reminiscent of a cognac in some ways. His allusion to the "depth charge" can be felt after a few minutes in the middle in the small intestines.
It is very good. However, I can't see the point of it if you have the Laphroaig Triple Wood (which I am comparing it with as I write this) on the one hand or a Talisker Port Ruighe on the other hand. I find both considerably better and far more interesting than this Lagavulin.
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