Lagavulin 18 Year Fèis Ìle 2018

Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

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!