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A Man, His Passion, and a Vespa: The Recipe for a Whisky Odyssey

Imagine that you're on vacation, sipping a glass of your favorite whisky while relaxing outside of your hotel on the Scottish isle of Jura. Suddenly, a man arrives on a Vespa loaded up with camping equipment and painting supplies. Intrigued, you strike up a conversation and learn that his name is Ben Birdsall, and that he has just arrived from Switzerland to travel the Scottish Highlands and Isles, hopping from distillery to distillery along the way."Are you an alcoholic?" You ask. "No," He replies. "Are you wanted by the police?" asks a friend. Birdsall retorts: "Not yet."

Lagavulin 21 2012 Release

  The Lagavulin 21 year old (2012 release at 52%) is my favorite version of Lagavulin. It is aged in sherry and has a very rich full body that isn’t overwhelming. It still has plenty of smoke but is even more complex than the already complex 12 and 16 year olds. It has the addition of the dried fruit and other sherry characteristics to bring it to an entirely new level. If you can get a bottle make sure to buy it and let me know too!

Lagavulin 12

  Lagavulin is probably my favorite of all Scotch distilleries as I have said before. This 12 year old version is only released once a year and is at cask strength. It is full of smoke like the usual bottling but it has many youthful notes like citrus and some white pepper. There is a sort of Mediterranean character to it and has a lighter, medium weight body.  I love it for the youth but complexity that Lagavulin can have with its great smoke. Another great! 

Lagavulin Distiller's Edition

  The distiller’s edition by Lagavulin is finished in Pedro Ximenez (PX) casks so there is still plenty of smoke and the typical Lagavulin flavor. The nice part about the PX finish is the amount of sweetness added along with a very rich mouth feel. It is a more mellow Lagavulin but complicated in a different way. 

Lagavulin 16

  Lagavulin is probably my favorite of all Scotch distilleries. The 16 year old is their standard expression that is full of smoke. It has plenty of oak to go with the smoke and iodine. There even is enough sweetness to bring it all together. If you like smoke or peat, you need to try this. It may just become your all time favorite. It is the ultimate peated whisky for under $100. 

Lagavulin 16

Picked up a 200ml bottle "just to see" if the $110CAN price was justified for the full sized bottle, it is.  Smokey, rich, and lush, complex and tastey.  I haven't done a formal tasting yet but it reminds me of the Ardbeg Uggie, jsut a little softer in the mouth (the Ardbeg is 54%ABV though).