So. Lagavulin. A little background on this one. I tend to go through a lot of electronics. My last-gen stuff usually ends up getting donated to my sister or niece or nephew. This time, when my friends Schmeck and Kate mentioned they were looking for an mp3 player, I was quick to bring up my dust-collecting, 1st gen iPod touch.
They were happy to get an mp3 player, I was happy to help out some friends, and Jen was ecstatic to get one more item removed from a counter top. But when I dropped off the iPod, they seemed a little confused. I think they were thinking I was talking about my old nano and not the fancier iPod touch. Schmeck started insisting on payment. After all, this iPod was a purchase that nearly gave Kate a stroke when she found out the sticker price back when I bought it.
I eventually relented and suggested a bottle of scotch for payment. At least it would be something I could share with Schmeck. A little while later Schmeck e-mailed and apologetically explained how he had just purchased the bottle in question but totally missed that he had picked up an Islay malt.
Islay malts are not my favourite. In fact, I've only ever had one bottle from the Islay region that I've been satisfied with. And that was a Lagavulin. And that was also received in payment for another obsolete piece of equipment. So, I was game. I admonished Schmeck for picking up a bottle that far exceeded the value of a 5 year old iPod with a cracked screen but I still went along with the trade.
Memories of Islay malts past still haunt my memories so I was prepared for the aroma. It is the smell of a sweaty gym sock that somebody has used to mop up some spilled rubbing alcohol. I wasn't deterred though. I remember my previous Lagavulin as easily overcoming that smell with a full-bodied, smooth burn followed by a crisp and clean finish. And this bottle matches that memory for the most part. It's just that there's a lot more gym sock than I remembered.
The other thing I like about Lagavulin compared to other Islays is that it doesn't seem to have the salt content that the others have. I think that lack of sea salt and the super clean finish is what really sets a quality Islay apart from the standard fare. I may find the aroma and taste challenging and not entirely agreeable but I appreciate that neither hangs around to remind me of those facts.
So, Schmeck, drop by any time. There will be some left in the bottle I'm sure. I'm interested in your take on it.
As good as an Islay gets. 3 shots.