Distiller: Lagavulin. ABV: 56.5%. Age: 21 years. Region: Islay. Price: $1,500.
The words “legendary,” “iconic,” and “best ever” are frequently used to describe the Lagavulin 21 1985 vintage. Many rank this release much higher than the rarer subsequent 21-year-old 1991 vintage, and even the 30-year-old and 37-year-old releases.
Matured the full 21 years in European sherry oak casks, the nose on this magnificent single malt is sweet with caramel, old leather, and smoldering peat. On the palate, its thick and heavy texture presents fascinating complexity, with bold peat, dried fruits, roasted nuts, sea salt, and very slight citrus notes. Its long, sweet and smoky finish seems to last an eternity.
This one-of-a-kind Lagavulin absolutely deserves all of its accolades. My only issue with it is that I only picked up three bottles when it was available by the case–at one-fifth its current price.
Cheers, friends! -JTR