Lagavulin 18 Year Fèis Ìle 2018

Peated Single Malt

Lagavulin // Islay, Scotland

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  1. dumaismr

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Tasty
  2. The_Rev

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    If you had blindfolded me and handed me this, I might have initially guessed that it was Ardbeg or maybe Laphroaig. The lighter notes of citrus and vanilla that come through on the nose behind the more delicate-than-usual smoke are ones I tend to associate with the other members of the Trinity of Heavy Peat, whereas Lagavulin always makes me think of smoked meat and maple syrup. The smoke is a savory one, though, a bit more "barbecue" than "burning driftwood". The palate, while a bit punchy given the ABV, is a touch lighter than the standard Lagavulin offerings - creamy vanilla and lemon curd dance with the smoke, with a bit of mildly salty bacon kicking around. As the finish lingers, light smoke and seawater stay the longest, with that sweetness only sticking around for the initial aftermath. Now, a bit later, with the dram having sat and breathed for a while, I do find a but more of the typical Laga meaty smoke on the nose. I don't know that I would take this over the standard 16 Year, and certainly not over the DE, but this is nonetheless a complex, engaging, and delicious whisky...thanks, @PBMichiganWolverine!
  3. I took my last 1 ounce of this, and my last 1 ounce of a 20 yr old Imperial (closed distillery), along with a bit of a 44 yr old blend by Cadenhead, and mixed it all together. I won’t rate it, since it’ll throw off the average, but...it was an interesting experiment. The Lag is really softened. The intense burnt ember is now more like smoky berries and honeycomb. I still prefer the original Lag, just for sheer complexity and power, but the blend seems to work quite well as a finessed fruity smoky variant.
  4. Generously_Paul

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Yet another bonus sample from the SDT. Today we move a few miles down the road from Laphroaig to the equally famous, if not more so, Lagavulin distillery on the magical island of Islay. This is the 2018 release for the annual Feis Ile festival. An 18 year old bottled at 53.9% ABV and is most likely natural color of yellow gold and most likely non chill filtered. Initially the nose is very closed off with only light smoke and vanilla showing. After a little time there are apricots, yellow apples and after dinner mints. The smoke level increases, bringing with it a warm campfire, very light sherry notes, flat cola, oak, earthy peat and burnt raisins. Letting it sit a good long while brings out powdered ginger and more vanilla. Nosing off of a fresh pour gives off dates, model airplane glue, pine resin and butter cream. Water is able to coax out lemon bars with a graham cracker crust, olive brine, soap and tangerines. The palate is super hot and peppery. Less smoke than anticipated. Cola, licorice, tannins, vanilla and ashy oak. Any fruit or sherry is completely covered by the intense heat. A generous amount of water and it tames this beast. Gentler and more refined. Smoky, light oak, but much of the depth is lost. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel that is hot, mouthwatering and then dry. The finish is long, smoky but not overtly so, a slight hint of bitterness and dry with a shaving of oak staves. It would seem as though cask strength Lagavulin is not really for me. I’m not too happy about that as I have a bottle of the 2015 12 year old waiting for me. Hope that one is more forgiving. Here I was hoping for more of a smoked meat/sweet BBQ profile, but it was mostly just hot and burnt. Less elegant that the 16 year old by a wide margin. 4.25 and thanks to @PBMichiganWolverine for the sample. Cheers
    200.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Sam-oliver07

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  6. Richard-ModernDrinking

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    I’ve been sitting on this review for a couple of weeks because I know I’m going to be in a minority on this one. I’m a little picky when it comes to Lagavulin. I like it best when it’s meaty and dirty, like the 2016 12-year-old special release, but they’re not all home runs for me. This one was fine but unspectacular in my book, making it the second Lagavulin Feis Ile release in a row that I’ve rated three stars. The nose is an intriguing mix of burnt rubber - like the aftermath of a getaway car - along with seaweed, shellac and grapefruit. I struggled to make any progress with it neat, but after letting it stand a good while and adding a touch of water I got some flavors of lemon and brisket. My notes peter out after that, perhaps because I was overcome with guilt for not enjoying @PBMichiganWolverine’s rare whisky more, but I’m glad everyone else is enjoying it. It’s good, just not as great as I was hoping.
  7. LeeEvolved

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Well well well, what do we have here. The newest Feis Isle festival release from Lagavulin. For 2018, they decided to release a special 18 year old version of their traditional, smoky malt. While I didn’t attend the event, I have a friend who had a friend that did- and he picked him up a bottle. Thanks to my buddy, @PBMichiganWolverine, I get to sample this beauty. Like I said, it’s 18 years old and bottled at cask strength (53.9%). It’s light gold in color and makes thin legs and tiny droplets in the tasting glass. It’s NCF’d and has no added color. Bottles were $200 at the distillery, but I see them selling at auction now for $400-500. The nose is typical Lagavulin smoke with a healthy dose of sherry sweetness. I get a heartier campfire nosing with hints of red berries filtering through the haze. Any trace of ABV heat or alcohol is overshadowed. It smells intoxicating. I’d theme the palate as “sweet & heat”. The sherry notes took center stage at first, but the deep, rich smoke aspects work their way around the sweetness and take over while leaving you with an oily, medium thick mouth coat. The depth of sherry flavors is incredible. I would assume these were first-fill casks because the flavor is so rich. There’s plenty of burn from the higher ABV, but you don’t really care because everything just feels perfect. The finish is long and warming and in a shocking turn of events: the sweetness lingers on long after the smoke has subsided. I don’t recall many (or any) other Lagavulin offerings accomplishing that. I’ve heard some of the older Distiller’s Editions pull it off but I’ve yet to try one that has to the extent this does. It’s truly a remarkable dram. Now, I doubt I’d chase a bottle of this at auction or on the secondary market at prices above $400, but I would’ve loved to have gotten my hands on them from the festival. Too bad I’m not a good traveler, I just have to settle for the generosity of good friends. If you have the means, pick this one up or try it at a good whisky bar. You won’t be disappointed one bit. 4.5-4.75 stars. Cheers, my friends.
    200.0 USD per Bottle
  8. PBMichiganWolverine

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Refined and classy. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I had this. At $200/bottle, I sure as heck expected a 5 star experience, and this delivered in spades. Whereas the younger Lags are more medicinal and a bit brutish, this is better balanced. Grassy, pears, and smoke. But really well integrated, where each component plays well with the other, without one taking center stage. There’s about 6000 of these bottles floating around...and that may not seem like a big number, but it’s fairly large enough to get your hands on one without the scarcity markup. It’s $200 well spent. In terms of single malts or “limited releases”, you can do a hellava lot worse for $200, but not much better.
  9. Dreaming-of-Islay

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Live dispatch from Feis Ile 2018 after a long hiatus for me. It’s been a divine weekend on an island that’s quickly become one of my favorite places in the world. Feis Ile 2018 is a spectacular dram, light in color due to the lack of color added and perhaps a low amount of sherry casks. The nose features a dry, briny aroma with hints of pear and a scent that my wife identified as akin to the base layer of some Le Labo perfumes. Vetiver or some other grassy note. The palate is rich, balanced, and oily: dark fruits, caramel, and a savory note from the well-aged peated Malt. The oily texture is first rate. The finish is a rising tide of smoke and peat, producing a classic coffee and hot chocolate note that is a hallmark of well-aged peated scotches. At nearly $200 a bottle, I expect a ton from this dram, and it delivered.
  10. Mike-Bowen

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
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