Lagavulin Visit: Whisky and Chocolate

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Next up on our Scotland distillery visits, Lagavulin, which, just happens to be one of our favorite whiskies. We were beyond excited to go here, however, excited quickly turned into disappointment when we learned they had stopped offering tours for the season. We found this puzzling because Lagavulin is one of the three distilleries in Islay that is within a walking path from Port Ellen. The other two, Ardbeg and Laphraoig which were both providing full tours.

If traveling to Scotland to visit distilleries, coming upon distilleries not fully open during a certain time of year is why it’s important to check if distilleries are open and available for tours during your visit there. At Lagavulin, even though they weren’t offering tours they were offering tastings and their shop was also open.

To maximize our experience there we purchased the chocolate lovers tasting because, if you weren’t aware of this, chocolate and whisky are a match made in heaven.

The three whiskies we sampled: Lagavulin Distillers Edition, Lagavulin Feis Ile 2017 and Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2017. I’ve previously written about the 1997 Distillers Edition, although not the same as the one we tasted at Lagavulin, I’ll keep it simple and will just provide notes on the other two.


Lagavulin Feis Ile 2017

  • They used Moscatel casks previously used for Caol Illa Distillers Edition.
  • Only 6000 bottles were produced

Tasting Note

Nose: smoke, salt and citrus

Palate: citrus, salt, smoke, a bit oily with hints of sweetness

Finish: long peaty finish with slight hints of sweetness

Let me be honest, it didn’t blow me away and for an expensive bottle, I feel like it should have. I would take the regular 16 year over this one. I really wanted to love it but, if you don’t have a dram of this whisky, don’t feel bad, you aren’t missing out.

Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2017

  • Only 6000 bottles were produced

Tasting Notes

Nose: smoke, and fruit

Palate: smoke, pepper, salt and raisin

Finish: peat smoke and hints of apple

There were some bottles available for purchase there but we decided it wasn’t one we needed to purchase. Maybe great for a collection but we wanted to bring back a bottle we would drink. We simply didn’t love it enough to buy it and it left us slightly unimpressed.

One of the best things of the tastings I will say had to be the chocolate. I do think that the chocolate added to the notes and changed some of the flavors you got from the whisky. So, if you are ever looking to get a different taste from your whisky, have it with chocolate.

Overall, even though left slightly disappointed, we were glad we stopped by and got to see where the distillery was. We hope to visit again soon and maybe next time, our experience will be a better one.


Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.


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