Lagavulin turns 200 this year—but it’s never been younger, thanks to the release of Lagavulin 8 Year Old. This whisky stands out from its elder brothers not just in age statement, but also in price and color.
Lagavulin 8 is a delicate light gold that almost appears clear from certain angles. But anyone fearing a watered-down Lagavulin experience should be reassured by the robust punch of salt, brine and smoke on the nose, conjuring fresh oysters. The initial taste at the front of the palate is light and less restrained than its older counterparts—it feels as close to “refreshing” as any whisky could be.
But then notes of spice begin to build at the middle of the palate, and those familiar Lagavulin flavors of smoke and salt make themselves known with a heavy dose of spice. The flavors linger, then build onto the back of the palate, where a final savory note blooms and ends with oak.
Lagavulin 8 is certainly less heavy than its more advanced siblings, but it does so without losing the key characteristics of the whisky. It’s perfect for those accustomed to sipping Lagavulin by the fireside in the dead of winter, but who are looking for something to sip on the front porch right now.
CE Rating: ★★★