Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition

The Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition represents a remarkably balanced Scotch, where the signature peat of this distillery is intertwined with a little smoke and a little sweetness from the sherry maturing, with a pinch of brine. The Distiller’s Edition is aged 16 years, but comes from one year of malts (1997), giving it a distinctive character wholly different from the Lagavulin 16 yr.

Distillery: Lagavulin
Region: Islay
Distilled: 1997
Strength: 43%
Price: $99.99
Location: Port Ellen
Maturation: Double matured Pedro Ximinez sherry
Nose: Peat, honey, smoke and caramel
Palate: Brief initial heat, grain, burnt smoke, pineapple
Finish: Long lingering peat, brine


Adam – This is such a remarkably smooth and balanced Scotch. The peat is very present but never overwhelms. The flavors unfold one by one, allowing your palette to move from the sweetness of the sherry to the brine to a little bit of smoke that drifts away as the warmth of the peat finish sinks deep into your chest and stays there like a cherished memory.

Meghan – The color on this one is worth mentioning- a nice burnt orange, maybe technically burnt sienna or one of those other seldom used crayon colors in the Crayola 64 pack. It’s got a very clean smoke on the nose, almost too clean for me. What can I say? I like my Scotch noses as I like my superheroes – a little dirty, a little dark, a little mysterious.  The Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition is just a little too Captain America for me. Great if that’s what you are in to. The palate is clean-cut and balanced though in the front there’s a little hint of pineapple. The mid-palate does provide more substance- a shiitake mushroom like earthiness that balances the heat. Strange that it feels hot at just 43% but it does. Overall, I found it to be underwhelming. When something is  called a Distiller’s Edition, I want to be blown away. The title makes me expect the best of the best the distillery can offer. Perhaps I ask too much. Technically, a distiller’s edition is a blend – sure, a blend of the same single malt but the year’s vary. For the price, I’d rather just go with a solid year designation instead of setting myself up for disappointment.