If someone were to ask me, what is your favorite region of scotch whisky? I would hands down call myself an Islay girl. I first discovered the Islay whisky’s back in April of 2011 while traveling through Scotland with my friend Fiona.
It was while touring the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh, Scotland that I learned about this little wonderful place called Islay. During the tour we got to the portion that I would call the “scratch and sniff”. The very nice tour guide passed out little cards to everyone and told us to “scratch and sniff” the scents of the different whiskey regions. Once we picked our favorite scent we got to sample a bit of that region’s whisky.
I’ve always loved a good smelling wooden fire so my scent of choice on that day was the scent of Islay with its heavy smoky smell. Islay in fact produces the smokiest whiskys in the market, Lagavulin being one of their smokiest whiskys and by far one of my favorites.
The distillery is located on the southern side of the island near one of my other favorites, Ardbeg. It is a single malt whisky and also receives the slowest distilling process out of any other Islay whisky. I roughly paid $69 or so for a 16-year-old bottle. 16 years is the standard year for Lagavulin and it is 43% alcohol poof. It has a nice rich amber color and if you move it around your dram glass you can see the beautiful legs it has.
If you’ve never drank whisky before or are beginning your whisky drinking experience, Lagavulin is not the whiskey you should begin your whisky tasting with. It is dry, powerful and extremely smoky. Here is how I best describe the taste of Lagavulin; Lagavulin is like a warm fire on a cold winter’s night.
At first I tasted a nice strong smokiness, followed by sweetness in the middle. The end is my favorite part; the strong peat smokiness comes back and hits you in the back of your pallet, you can slightly taste seaweed as you finish your tasting. This whisky will warm you up in a matter of seconds. I highly recommend this whisky for the experience drinker.
Some would say that it’s a drink best served during the winter. I highly disagree; I will drink a dram of Lagavulin anytime of the year. Why limit this wonderful taste for the winter. Get yourself a nice plate of cheese and crackers and enjoy!