It’s not immediately clear exactly what the Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition is. Further investigation reveals that it’s the famous and beloved Lagavulin 16 year old that has been ‘double matured’. This doesn’t mean that it’s a 32 year old; rather, it means that it has been matured in a second type of cask. A Pedro Ximinez sherry cask, to be specific.
This whisky is a little controversial. The Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition is a bit like having a long black coffee (the Lagavulin 16 year old), and then adding 3 sugars. It’s powerful, yet sweet. The sherry finish makes it a much more mellow whisky, which is both good and bad. The good is that Pedro Ximinez casks provide a beautiful, rich smoothness to any whiskies that are aged in them, and this whisky is no exception. The bad is that the sweetness can leave you wanting more peat and punch a la the 16 year old. It ends up being a very complex flavor in a restrained way and a palate that requires reflection. Fruit and spice are predominant, with a smokey finale. The finish is a reasonably simple but extremely long oak and smoke.
I enjoyed this whisky, but it didn’t make me bang my glass on the table in delight like its 16 year old cousin did. It’s a little more complex and probably more enjoyable by the non-peat lovers and indeed the non-whisky lovers. There is no burn or acridity from this whisky, which means it will be enjoyed by just about anyone. The downside is the price. It’s much more expensive than the 16 year old, and that places it in competition with whiskies of another level. Whilst enjoyable, I’m not convinced this whisky is worth going after for anyone but hardcore whisky enthusiasts.
Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition Information
- Type: 16 year old single malt Scotch whisky
- Region: Islay
- ABV: 43%
- Price guide: Around 60 British pounds or 100 US dollars. Editions that were distilled earlier than the current 16 years ago will fetch a higher price due to rarity.