Whisky Review: Lagavulin 37 Years Old

This was my great extravagance of the week. It was between this and a 34 year old Port Ellen.

A 37 year old Lagavulin. The 12 year old is always so reliable, that when I decided what to splash out on, this was an obvious choice. That said, it was an insane amount of money to spend on a bottle of whisky, and although it’s very, very good I wouldn’t buy a second even if I had the disposable income! I don’t suppose there are any left, anyway. The great sadness is that most people who buy one of the 1800 bottles probably won’t ever open it. What’s the point of that? If you’re going to buy a bottle – whether it’s a regular off the shelf or a special bottling, drink it (slowly, maybe – but drink it), or let someone else buy it who’s going to enjoy it as a drink, not an ornament.

I opened it. It didn’t disappoint.

37 years old is the oldest bottling Lagavulin have ever done. The distillery isn’t usually given to aged bottlings, perhaps they found an old barrel at the back. Lucky for us.

That said, it wasn’t cheap. It’s not an everyday bottle (unless you’re in a very different financial league to me!). Now I’ve bought it, it’s not so much better than the ‘everyday’ whiskies to be able to justify drinking it, apart from on special occasions. So it’s a bottle destined to be in my Monk’s Bench for years, giving up a glass or two a year.

But the idea of enjoying this for the next half decade suits me just fine. I hope it’ll have equally good (and obscenely expensive) company by then.

Ultimately, though, as good as this is I could have had ten bottles of the 25 year old Bunnahabhain for the same money. And – if I were buying again that’s what I’d have done. Sorry, Dad.

whisky review.Lagavulin37

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Anthropith’s Whisky Week

The week around the 22nd of October is a big whisky week for me. I like to buy in a few bottles – some of my favourites and some I haven’t tried before.

For one reason or another I’ve not done this for a few years, so this year I went a big, I really splashed out. Not only did I buy my favourites, I bought some expensive ones, too.

So this week, I have a Whisky Review a day. I’ll update this page as the week goes on with a contents list to add to the reviews that are already on here.

Whisky Week 2013

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Whisky review: Port Ellen

Bit of a special one this, but everyone gets it wrong. Port Ellen is my whisky number three in my all time favourites list. I don’t get to drink much of it courtesy of the fact that all the Port Ellen there ever will be already is.

Although the maltings still supply other distilleries, the Port Ellen distillery itself closed in 1983. And that’s why everyone gets it wrong. They all go out and buy (and ooze over) the 1983 but the real prize is the ‘82.

It’s softer than the average Islay, sitting between Bunnahabain’s almost peat free flavour and Lagavulin’s warm winter flavours. But it’s almost sweet.

I haven’t tried Port Ellen in either an Old Fashioned or a Hot Toddy, and frankly if you do, I’ll be around your house like a shot. And when I say like a shot, the only smoke you’ll be experiencing will be from the barrel of my shotgun. A fitting punishment for wasting this precious limited resource.

Positive scores:

Taste: 8     Comfort: 8    Enjoyment: 8

Negative scores:

Morning repercussions: 3    Old fashioned: 0    Hot Toddy: 0

Total: +24 – 3 = 21

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