Lagavulin 8 is launched in 2016 to celebrate distillery's 200th anniversary. This expression is also dedicated to the famous whisky historian Alfred Barnard, who visited the Lagavulin distillery in the 1880s and later expressed his admiration for the brand's 8-year expressions in his journal. In fact, Barnard's comments about the whisky are featured on the bottle.
Aged for 8 years in European and American oak casks, Lagavulin 8 is bottled with 48% abv. I have tasted for the first time Lagavulin 8, which I have been eagerly waiting to taste since the moment I heard it would be released, in Amsterdam L&B Whiskeycafe, one of the best whisky bars in the city.
Lagavulin 8 (Scotch Single Malt, 48% abv)
Nose: Quite familiar Lagavulin character with the first sniff. Intense peat and medicinal notes are accompanied by caramel, salt, lightly fruit and spicy notes. It feels a bit like a young whisky, but overall I can say it's fairly balanced on the nose.
Palate: An interesting palate that starts off soft and heats up quickly. Strong peat character is, as in the nose. The flavors of ash, salted caramel and white pepper are followed by burnt oak and bitterness.
Finish: Medium length finish with peaty, spicy, slightly burning notes.
Comment: To evaluate Lagavulin 8, it makes most sense to compare it with the core range 16. The most important difference with 16 is that 8 is a much more wild and unfortunately unbalanced whisky. Although I find it pleasant on the nose despite its young character, it is a somewhat unbalanced, has weak body on the palate. On a blind tasting I would say it was younger than 8 years...
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