Review: Lagavulin 8 Year Old Single Islay Single Malt Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

8 yrs
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Lagavulin (Lagavulin, Scotland)

Lagavulin's 200th anniversary bottling, released to commemorate the visit of Alfred Barnard (and early British distilling historian) to the distillery in the 1880s when he tasted an "exceptionally fine" eight year old from the distillery. Phenomenal to see such a fabulous scotch whisky with an age statement under ten years.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: 200th Anniversary

  • Bottling Code: L6243CM000 57079358

  • Bottling Date: 2016

A fascinating nose – smoky, sweet, dry – burning leaves, lemon zest, toffee, and light youthfulness – but the distillate is so nice that you don’t mind much. Mineral character- round washed stones, rockpools, cucumber,  lightly creamy....the palate is brilliant. It starts lightly smoky – creamy, sweet, and then smoke, minerality, and black pepper build into an incredible smoky finish with mineral notes and spice. Nice dried burning leaves. Incredible....serious smoke and malt on the finish, black pepper.

Definitely lagavulin, and I love it. Nice and dry, too – terrific balance. Not the complexity, oak, or sweetness of the 16, but more smoky, which is quite nice. I hope this becomes a staple in the lineup.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, even at $100.