It’s been while, over 4 month to be exact, since I bought my last single malt the Bowmore Darkest. Well I still have some bottles left and there was no real need to get something new, but I kinda wanted to spend some ‘luxury hobby money’. Before I went to my ‘usual whisky dealer, the Whisky Fox, I already new that I’d not buy something completely new this time.
My first candidate on the list was the Ledaig 10 which I learned to like as It was gifted to me as a whisky miniature on the 2nd advent. Three out of the four advent whiskies did impress me and I really want to get them all but the Ledaig 10 from the Isle of Mull was the first. I still have something left in the miniature bottle but now I’ve added a normal sized one to my collection. And I’d like to add that not only the single malt itself is great, no I really do like the style of the box and the shape of the bottle.Ledaig 10
A simple black box showing the Isle of Mull and of course some info and tasting notes about the alcoholic beverage inside. Of course I also do like the really fancy boxes but sometimes it’s the simple ones, following a more subtle style, that just are right for a single malt. Simple but with nice details, I like this style.Ledaig 10
The Ledaig itself fits very well besides its case with his amber glow and the bulbous flask stands out in comparison to many other single malts. I’m really looking forward to share this one with some of my friends in one of our private tastings because I’m eager to know what their opinion is on this one because for me the Ledaig 10 already feels like a good friend in my collection which I just enjoy to look at.
Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1998
My second whisky of choice to buy was the latest Lagavulin Distillers Edition (DE) from 1998. As you might know my all time favorite still is the DE from 1994. The standard Lagavulin 16 is already one of the greatest but the Pedro Ximénez finish makes a top-notch drink even better.
Sadly so I have to say that you can’t get the 1994 Lagavulin anymore and even worse, the 1995 and the 1996 ones couldn’t reach the greatness of their predecessor. I didn’t get a chance to taste the 1997 edition but I’ve read that it also couldn’t fully add up to the old glory. Well now two of my friends from our little “whisky circle” already have bought the 1998 DE and they told me that after 4 years the ‘old greatness’ was reached again. Not that this Distillers Edition taste the same as the one from ’94, but it is again as outstanding as the one we all liked very much.
As a little Lagavulin ‘fanboy’ that I am I of course had to get one of these bottles for my collection. And luckily I still have some left of the ’94 so that we can compare the two. But one thing I hav to say to the distillery or its marketing office. Why the hell does the latest DE look so boring? The box itself is nice but not really that noble. What really discouraged me was the bottle itself. This just doesn’t look like a Lagavulin Distillers Edition, not even like a standard Lagavulin. The coloring of the label is really really bad and engraving the glass with “1816 Islay” and putting a logo on it doesn’t really make it any better.
I remember the moment when I unboxed the DE from ’94 back in the days and I kinda felt like a child under the christmas tree with a big new Lego toy to play with. Or maybe even like Vincent Vega (John Travolta) in Pulp Fiction opening the suitcase. It was just a great moment because never before in my life had I spent so much money on a drink. And then looking at the bottle it just felt right. The nice color, the noble looks, yes at this moment it was okay for me to have spent 62€. Now the whisky costs 78,90€ and the look says its nothing special anymore.
Hopefully, and I bet this will be the case, it’ll taste much better than it looks and the taste will be compensation for that and I will meet and old friend here. But really Lagavulin: do something about that. Whisky is something very special and a luxurious hobby, so give us customers something back in return. Not just with a great drink but also with something nice and noble to look at where the wrapping fits the content.
More photos from the ‘unboxing’ can be found here (sorry for the bad photos, I still have no Lightbox).