Review: Lagavulin 14 Years Old 1987-2001 – SMWS 111.16

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Lagavulin Distillery

Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask 111.16

ABV: 55.8%

Cost: £14.95 per dram at Fiddler’s

Score: 93/100

SMWS 111.16

What they say:

Distilled in January 1987 at Lagavulin Distillery this expression matured for over 14 years before bottling in September 2001 at 97.65 degrees proof / 55.8% ABV.

Longmorn 1976 Thosop & SMWS 111.16

What I say:

Our second dram selection from Fiddler’s was this SMWS bottled Lagavulin. It is very rare to find independently bottled Lagavulin (SMWS Distillery Code #111) and rarer still to find a cask strength bottling so this SMWS expression was a must!

Colour:

Refractive antique gold (7/20), oily medium-sized tears left medium legs

Nose:

Sweet and restrained, almost gentle peat smoke, pears, pineapple, cigarette smoke, nutty, marzipan, sugared almonds

Taste:

Slightly metallic and coppery, gun oil and engine oil, dirty, almonds, grapefruit and orange zest, candied peel, fruit sweeties, hugely malty cereal barley, lapsang souchong tea, tannic

Finish:

Long gentle peat smoke over dirty gun oil and fruit zest.

Overall:

Another flawless expression. This one took me straight back to the Lagavulin Warehouse tasting with Iain McArthur and loading the Valinch by sucking up the whisky out of the casks – a surreptitious  mouthful may have been had here or there despite Iain’s attempts to make us laugh right at the critical moment! Pure unadultered Lagavulin (almost) fresh out of the cask.