Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lagavulin 16 Year Old


     Today's tasting features one of my all time favourite whiskies. The Lagavulin 16 Year Old. This whisky has long been considered the Islay malt example. In fact it is a member of the Classic Malts, chosen to represent that regions style. The other Classic Malts are Dalwhinnie from the Highlands, Talisker from the Isle of Skye, Glenkinchie from the Lowlands, Cragganmore from Speyside and Oban from the West Highlands.

     Lagavulin has gained its status of personal favourite not only because of its fantastic and consistent notes but in the way it transports me to a by gone era. It elicits images of a cabin on a rough sea shore in the dead of winter the smell of smoke and tastes of sweetness conjure memories of Christmas. Now there is no way that I am doing this tasting to Christmas music. NO WAY. Since this is a 16 year old whisky I thought I would throw on what I was listening to when I was 16. Although not always the clearest the memories I do recall from this time were enjoyable. Specifically I recall being at my friends cottage when I was introduced to Nirvana's "Nevermind".

     Nirvana was a game changer band for me. Aside from there infectious songs, I loved that they were a three piece. This gave every member a voice. It also showed me that a bass player could do more than play the same sixteenth notes over and over again. At the time I was listening to a lot of metal and if you could even hear the bass player it was rarely anything for me to get excited about. What Krist Novoselic was playing was rhythm in the shape of the main riff. This for me was a much more fun way to play. I have since found many fantastic bands from long before Nirvana who feature strong exciting performers on every instrument. Nirvana was just an eye/ear opener.    

    Since I'm already two thirds of the way through this album I better get sipping on this classic dram.

Nose: smoke, cedar and red wine come to mind right away. There is also salt and the smell of ocean air.

Taste: smoke and salt are potent with this one. I also found there to be notes of Christmas cake and just a hint of black licorice.

Finish: the smokiness follows into the long chewy finish. I also detect notes of something nutty and a reminder of the wine from the nose.

A stunning whisky that never fails to excite. It is like a reunion with an old dear friend. Fond memories are recalled and yet there are new things to talk about.

Cheers and have a good night        

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