Tastings The LABEL 5 LAGAVULIN CLASSIC BLACK 12 YEARS OLD La Martiniquaise-Bardinet Diageo Rob Lyndsey 40% 57.8% Distillery Single Malt ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: Distillery Blended Nose: Nose: Full-on sweetness, honey-soaked apricots, milk chocolate and honeycomb, golden syrup and Greek yoghurt. There’s some spices rolling about, cardamom and all spice. The sweetness leads on with oranges dipped in chocolate with cinnamon, crystallised ginger and pears poached in brandy. A little creamy oak note. Crisp and swift. A pretty straight forward whisky, dominated by orchard fruits. Green apple laces soaked in the smoke from herbal cigarettes with hints of sandalwood, burnt custard and crystallised bananas. Struck matches, watermelon and dried cranberries. The struck matches follow through with dehydrated oranges, kid’s strawberry toothpaste and fruit & nut Dairy Milk. Wood smoke appears gently and disappears throughout. A luscious wood smoke lingers. Eating a banana split after the neighbours lit a bondie. Scotland Islay ===== ===== Worldwide Specialist, Palate: Palate: Worldwide Finish: Comments: Finish: Comments: 8.0 8.8 Sam Christopher Nose: Nose: Caramel sweetness, toffee, cinnamon and clove spice. Sweet upfront, before a little of the alcohol comes through. Spirity. With that comes a little bit of fruit, pineapple and a peppery spice. Long length with more of that spirit note lingering on. Maybe lacks a little complexity, but there are some interesting flavours. A touch prickly and shy. Strawberry candies, prawn cracker, chalk sweets and dusty malt. A touch of iodine and fresh-cut flower stems. Bark mulch. Gentle on the palate. There’s pear drop and mussels in white wine, sultana, honeysuckle and gentian. Smoke dances around the back. Long and grassy, with the coastal note lingering for a long time after. You have to take your time to appreciate how quirky it is. Palate: Palate: Finish: Comments: Finish: 7.5 8.0 Comments: LAGG LAPHROAIG NEW MAKE SPIRIT 10 YEARS OLD Isle of Arran Distillers Beam Suntory Rob Lyndsey 63.5% Distillery New-Make Spirit 40% ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: Distillery Single Malt Nose: Nose: Alcohol masks things at first, a little drop of water helps pull out damp forest floors, peat fires and black bananas. There’s burning leaves too. Like walking into a herring smoking shed. Sweet at first then black Fruit Pastile sweets. Then heads off to a more Fisherman’s Friend side of things, menthol and herbal. Punchy and full of peat fires. As it dries there is orange sherbet and liquorice. Obviously new make, but this is showing great promise. Chocolate lime sweets, Nutella hot chocolate and crunchy peanut butter. Smoke like an ashtray full of last night’s cigars and Frazzles. Poached pears in caramel syrup, coconut water and pineapple-flavoured Creamola Foam. Rounded and silky smooth. Smoky. Marshmallows. Smoky again. Back to pineapple. Milky silkiness appears amidst the smoke. Eating pineapple marshmallows injected with smoky goodness. Island Islay ===== ===== Palate: Distillery Specialist, Palate: Exclusive Worldwide Finish: Finish: Comments: 9.0 N/A Comments: Christopher Christopher Nose: Nose: There’s celery and corn bread, spent match and sweet malt, a little balsamic and Danish oil. Tyre rubber and a petrolic note is evocative of mezcal. Lime peel and pine too. Sweet and sour, with sherbet-like fizziness. Pear drops and brioche, with white grape and cantaloupe. The fruitiness is reminiscent of prosecco. There’s a lot going on! Glace icing and wood smoke. Very, very interesting. This will be awesome in a few years. Wet wallpaper as it is steamed from the walls, plaster dust, iodine and house coal smoke. Modelling clay, oil-based paint and chill sea air. The iodine comes in first, with the wafts of coal smoke retronasally. A charred beef element is there, with the sweet metallic taste of very rare meat and pear drops to follow. There’s smoked clove, black truffle and vanilla. Truffle and coal smoke. Cooking over coals while renovating a seaside cottage. Palate: Palate: Finish: Comments: Finish: Comments: 8.7 N/A 122 Scotch Whisky
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