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August 25, 2022 (edited February 28, 2023)
4.0 out of 5 stars
As a fan of both excellent scotch and stouts, the Lagavulin Offerman Edition 11 Year Guinness Cask Finish is a must-try in my book.
The smell of this whisky gives me an image of toasted campfire s'mores; nostalgic gooey biscuit and malted chocolate with wafts of smoke. With time, this pale straw coloured pour reveals tones of juicy pear, yeast, banana and nutmeg.
Lightly sweet malted chocolate transitions to pepper and grounding savoury smoke. Faint tannins and tobacco settle through a long finish. Its creamy smoke stays on my palate indefinitely, like a roasted version of classic Guinness foam.
Lagavulin Offerman Edition Guinness Cask Finish is easy and enjoyable without too many bells and whistles. I see this as an inviting, slightly sweet crossover for people who aren't interested in immensely peated drams but are "smoke curious". My biggest gripe is that the bottle will finish all too quickly.
Normally a celebrity endorsement would do absolutely nothing to influence a purchase from me. And the case is no different with this one. But what did motivate me to try it is that the first Offerman 11 Lag was fantastic. Let’s see what a few months in Guinness casks does for this one.
Nose: Lemon, grapefruit, sea salt, brine, and seaweed. Vanilla custard and fudge. White grape, blueberry, and jam. Almond. Campfire smoke, hookah smoke, peat, and bandaid. Sun-dried tomato. Croissant. Heavy black pepper. Red pepper black bean chili. Cinnamon. Oak.
Palate: Heavy campfire smoke, followed by sea salt, brine, and salinity. Lemon, grapefruit, and vanilla custard. Caramel, milk chocolate, peanut butter
, and toffee. Blueberry, pomegranate, Gala apple, and raisin. Agave. Cinnamon and black pepper. Red pepper black bean chili. Oak.
Finish: Sea salt, seaweed, brine, campfire smoke, and peat. Almond and peanut butter. Custard, milk chocolate, and caramel. Red pepper black bean chili. Sun-dried tomato. Cinnamon, black pepper, and oak. Long finish.
This is a damn fine whisky. The Lagavulin character is ever-present. What the Guinness adds is less evident. That’s a minor detractor.
The nose and palate are solid. The finish is the highlight of the whole experience. Overall, I’d take the original Offerman 11 over this, but that isn’t a knock on this one.
$70 is a solid price for an age-stated Lag (which I guess is all of them.) Haven’t had anything close to a miss from this distillery. Excellent stuff. 4.2/5.