Review: Lagavulin Distillery Only 2010

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Lagavulin Distillery

Bottling: Diageo

ABV: 52.5%

Cost: £sold out may be available at auction?

distillery-only-2010-whisky

What they say:

A Limited Edition bottling of Lagavulin without age statement bottled in 2010 and only made available at the distillery, presented at 52.5% ABV Natural Cask Strength.

What I say:

Rumours abound with this bottle, from suggestions that is was a vatting of the standard Distiller’s Edition casks (i.e. standard 16 year old Lagavulin finished in Pedro Ximenex casks) that were aged for longer, or too good to be batch blended, etc. I think the most believable story behind this bottle suggests that it was part of a batch of casks that were to make up the 1994-2010 Lagavulin DE but instead they were bottled separately at cask strength (52.5% ABV) rather than the DE’s reduced 43% and made ~ 6,000 bottles at outturn to be sold directly at the distillery. When the chance arose to obtain this whisky I was eager as the ’94DE was one of my first Lagavulin bottle purchases, so to try a CS version was icing on the cake. I’d guess this was ~ £70-£80 when released? NAS but likely 16 years old.

Appearance:

Dark bronze/copper (14/20), long medium legs and quick medium tears

Nose:

Classic dusty peat smoke, salty and mineralic with a hint of balsamic vinegar, icing sugar, vanilla, leather, smoked sea salt, salted caramel, sherry, tannic oak, iodine, jammy fruits, cherry, blackcurrant, plum, peach skin

Taste:

Fruity rhubarb and custard, caramel, sour cherries, salty, dusty, mineralic, honey, raisin, leather, peach skin, cigarette ash, plum, chocolate, walnut, tobacco, lapsang souchong tea, ashen smoke.

Finish:

Long, leathery and sweet dried fruits and peat ash persist

Overall:

Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition at Cask Strength is as awesome as it sounds. The delivery really is quite different unreduced but is still full of the classic dried fruit, tannic, leathery and smoky flavours the DE expression is famous for.

Score: 92/100

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