Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:43 pm Post subject: Lagavulin 2001 Distillers Edition - Question
New here - hoping this post is ok in this section and completely unfamiliar with whisky!!
I am looking to purchase a gift for my significant other for his birthday and was considering this Lagavulin. I have absolutely no knowledge of whisky, but I know he really enjoys many of the whiskys from Islay- he particularly likes variations of Caol Ila and I have heard him mention Lagavulin in the past but can't remember which types he enjoys. I saw a number of postings on this 2001 edition in various places that led me to think he might enjoy it....
Does anyone like this particular kind of Lagavulin? Any recommendations/thoughts would be tremendously helpful.
Thanks for your response. I have heard him mention Laphroaig and Ardbeg now that you say that, but of course I don't know types, etc.
He was in Islay many years ago and fell in love with the land and the whiskies-
I recognize that isn't very helpful as I look for recommendations!
Budget - around/less than $130 U.S. (about 100 pounds sterling)
Does he drink whisky often? Like is he connoisseur who you reckon will have tried lots of Islay whiskies over the years, or just someone who's had a few bottles here and there?
Lagavulin Distiller's Edition is lovely, but for just a few pounds more you can have Lagavulin 12 and that is really something. More expensive, but represents better value for your money because it's Cask Strength. Click here
TBH though, if he's not a big regular whisky drinker you could probably save yourself a little money and try Lagavulin 8yr, but that is closer to the standard Lagavulin 16yr in flavour.
Thanks for your response. He does not drink it often but seems to have tried a lot of them. I appreciate the options - I think he has had the Lagavulin 16, so perhaps the 12 is a good option. I didn't realize there were different "strengths?" and I didn't know the 8 yr and the 166 were close in flavour.
Well, the 8yr Lagavulin is it's own unique whisky, but I think it's a fair bet to say if your Hubby loves the 16yr, he'll love the 8yr because it's not radically different. Because it's younger it's a little bit smokier, but it's also sweeter and a little less rich than the 16yr.
The 12yr however is a definite step up in quality, a little less smoky than the 16yr but just a big impact on the palate and really strong finish. I've only ever sampled a little bit of it though personally so there are other members here who are much more experienced with the various Lagavulin bottlings who might want to chime in.
Lagavulin 16 is bottled at 43%. When whisky comes out of the cask it's usually above 50% and they water it down to bottle it at your typical 40%, 43%, 46% that most whisky is bottled at. Cask Strength means they've either not watered it down at all, or they might have watered it down just a tiny amount. The 2019 bottling of Lagavulin 12 is bottled at 56.5%, so it's got a fair bit more "oomph" than your standard 16yr. Typically the higher the alcohol content, the more flavour is retained in the drink. Your husband will also have the option of watering it down himself and that can extend the life of the bottle, because obviously it can make a 700ml bottle dilute up to 800ml or more depending on how much water you put in it.
I'm not sure where you are based though, so I don't know if the 12yr is outside your budget. If you can find it within your budget then that would be a very special gift for your hubby, but something cheaper like the 8yr also represents fantastic value for the money.
Thank you for such a thorough response!
This is all so helpful - I did not know about watering down, etc nor about the specifics in quality. I am in the U.S. - it seems the 12 is going for around $100.00 so that can work.
If I'm to go in this direction, does it matter what year I get? (i.e. a 12 that is bottled from 2019 or 2018, etc)?
Cask Strength whisies do tend to be more different each year because they never come out of the casks at the same strength, but I know the Lagavulin 12yr has a reputation for being consistently good.
I've only tried the 2019 bottling myself, but from researching the whisky before I purchased it for a friend's 40th it appeared to me from reviews that the 2018 was generally considered a particularly good year for Lagavulin 12yr. Now, I don't know how the 2019 compares to the 2018 because reviews for the 2019 were light on the ground back when I purchased it, but IF you can get the 2018 for the same price as the 2019, I would say go for it - but don't worry if you can't, it's a fantastic whisky whatever year you get. The 2018 is obviously older and so it's more expensive here in the UK. It was released at a lower price point than the 2019 (they ramped up the price in 2019 and that upset a lot of people), so you might find the 2018 is more reasonbly priced over in the US maybe?
Thank you !
The 2018 seems more difficult to find after a brief (and by no means extensive) search online - I did find it though for $111 U.S. dollars which is certainly reasonable!
I think I am leaning towards purchasing that at this point - but one more question - you would recommend this over the 2001 Distiller's edition? Or they are very different and both have their own respective tastes, etc? (I heard about the Distiller's edition via a number of postings on various sites...)
Yeah they're different. Basically your Distiller's Edition is more of a Sherried Lagavulin so if you're a lover of Sherry-influenced whiskies you might rate it above the 16 and 12yr (sherried notes usually make the whisky creamier, fruity in terms of red fruits flavour profile, maybe nuttier, etc). The 12yr is like a more impactful, flavourful Lagavulin probably chiefly because of that Cask Strength. It punches you in the face and you just have to sit back and soak it all in. It's more of a connoisseur's dram, if you're really familiar with standard strength bottlings of Lagavulin (16yr, 8yr, DE, etc) and looking for something to take it up a notch: That's where the 12yr Cask Strength shines.
I don't have a lot of experience with either whisky unfortunately because I've only tried them once and on two separate occasions, so other members here might be able to chime in speaking from more experience, but for my money the 12yr was like a definite step up in quality from the Lagavulin 16yr when I tried them side-by-side (also with the 8yr). The Distiller's Edition was more of a sidestep, if that makes sense? It was roughly on par with the 16yr, but for different reasons.
The Lagavulin 2001 Distillers Edition is a very good peated sherried single malt and if he likes this style I would think he will love this.
I agree with Mark, the DE is a good peaty sherried whisky, it is different in style to the likes of the 12 and 16 so it would depend on individual taste preference whether it is a better or worse whisky, IMO all the Lagavulins mentioned above are all different and all very good expressions which I would be happy to receive as a gift.
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