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Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

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Related whiskies : Lagavulin 16 Years Old

Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby feteris » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:00 am

Would anyone know what is up with my Lagavulin, please?

I have been enjoying Lagavulin 16 for two years or so. I simply cant find anything that I enjoy as much. I finished a bottle of Laphroaig 10 recently and I didn't like it at all; too flowery for my palette.

Last week I went to my local pub where there is usually a row of Lagavulin boxes. None to be seen. Just one lone bottle with no box. I was suspicious but inspected the cork area and it looked untampered with, and so I went ahead and bought it.

But it doesn't taste like Lagavulin. The oily aftertaste of smoke is there. But none of the nose I am used to. Usually when I pour a glass (I like it neat) it erupts with aromas. I can smell (feel) the campfire across my face. (I like to imagine that anyway.) Even my wife a metre or two away remarks that she can usually smell the smoke and all the pungent armours in the room. But this bottle seems dead. Noseless.

Am I imagining things? Do batches change so much to make this kind of difference detectable?

Or is something else going on here? Perhaps it was a display bottle and in the sun and sun is to Lagavulin what kryptonite is to Superman. I have no idea.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Or does it sounds like I am imagining things? I don't think so. I am such a fan of Lagavulin 16, and I hate to speak ill of it, but something seems amiss here.

Thanks so much in advance!

Stephen
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby Queen of the Hebrides » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:48 pm

If you think there is something wrong with it then I would suggest you contact the distillery - maybe even send the bottle back to them. I'm sure they wouldn't be happy to think there was a bad bottle out there.

Contact details are all here: http://www.discovering-distilleries.com ... /lagavulin
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby schitzengiggles » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:34 pm

Sounds like it's corked to me.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:43 am

That's a shame, feteris, but also potentially a hard lesson learned.

Boxed and hopefully well-stored next time it is, then. :thumbsup:
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby schitzengiggles » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:07 am

Nonono - cork taint.. TCA, like wine!
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby Ganga » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:59 am

I think there is variations in the batch as I found the 07 batch better than the 08. 07 much sweeter; 08 much more charred.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:45 pm

My last 2 bottles of Lagavulin I have found to be much duller and uninspiring compared to what I expect from it. Still good to drink just not what I used to think Laga was. I had the 21 lately and got that original thrill I used to get from the 16yo.

SO it brings me to an interesting question ... as a person who has always had a bottle of Laga 16yo in my cabinet for years have I now out grown it ... I am also a massive Laphroaig fan but have found it has not let me down. So is it the whisky or is me and my taste buds. I have come to the conclusion that it may well be me.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby feteris » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:25 am

Thank you all for the considered and very informative replies.

I drank the bottle. I am still in love with Laga. But I am looking for a new adventure now.

Thanks again Gents. What a wonderful community this is.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby lbacha » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:16 am

My guess is Lagavulins popularity is also its downfall, I agree the newer bottles just arn't as good as some of the older bottles I have had. I can't find my source but I beleive almost all Lagavulin is made into single malt which has to have an effect on the quality since they can no longer pick and choose the best casks. I really hope single malts popularity doesn't do this to other distilleries as well but I'm sure it will effect some others.

Len
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby lbacha » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:55 pm

Yeah I read somewhere it was 100% used for single malts and Caol Ila is providing all the malt for blends that Lagavulin used to. That means every bad barrel out there is making it into a bottle of lagavulin 16 instead of Johnny Walker Red. I just hope barrel selection improved enough to solve this issue going forward.

Len
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby Ganga » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:10 pm

I have two comments. About 2 years ago I had a couple of Lagavulin 16s. The first was from 2005 or 2006. It had a very charry characteristic. Really ended up overpowering most everything else in the bottle. Then I had a 2007 bottling. Beautiful balance between peat and sherry.

Secondly, I would point out that even if 100% of the Lagavulin casks are being put into single malts it doesn't mean that the poorer casks are making it into the bottlings everyone loves (or loves to hate). There are plenty of unidentified Islay malts that may be absorbing some of these casks.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby lbacha » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:35 pm

Fingers crossed thats the case, I would hate for the quality to slip on one of my favorite drams, I will admit I havn't tried any of the newer bottles so maybe it is already fixed.

Len
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:11 pm

Marketing your 'base-line' malt at 16 years of age (somewhat above the industry 'norm') also places additional strains on the maturation regimen.

Good as the 16-year old can be at times, I still dream of once again sipping the old 43%ABV 12YO White Horse version of the 1980s. Now that was a monster of a whisky!

Is it any wonder Diageo has elected to broaden its range of Lagavulin offerings through the introduction of 'specialty' releases such as the 12-year old cask strength, Distillers Edition and older bottlings?
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby lbacha » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:06 am

Collector57 wrote:
The Third Dram wrote:I still dream of once again sipping the old 43%ABV 12YO White Horse version of the 1980s. Now that was a monster of a whisky!

Well, now that was something. Was it as good as we recall? Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.
But yes, it probably was. I know the old 16 was.


I have a 5cl bottle of the 12 yr Whitehorse bottling screaming to be drank but I'm saving it for when I can share it with others I've had it before at Limburg and it is amazing...
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:07 am

feteris wrote:Would anyone know what is up with my Lagavulin, please?

I have been enjoying Lagavulin 16 for two years or so. I simply cant find anything that I enjoy as much. I finished a bottle of Laphroaig 10 recently and I didn't like it at all; too flowery for my palette.

Last week I went to my local pub where there is usually a row of Lagavulin boxes. None to be seen. Just one lone bottle with no box. I was suspicious but inspected the cork area and it looked untampered with, and so I went ahead and bought it.

But it doesn't taste like Lagavulin. The oily aftertaste of smoke is there. But none of the nose I am used to. Usually when I pour a glass (I like it neat) it erupts with aromas. I can smell (feel) the campfire across my face. (I like to imagine that anyway.) Even my wife a metre or two away remarks that she can usually smell the smoke and all the pungent armours in the room. But this bottle seems dead. Noseless.

Am I imagining things? Do batches change so much to make this kind of difference detectable?

Or is something else going on here? Perhaps it was a display bottle and in the sun and sun is to Lagavulin what kryptonite is to Superman. I have no idea.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Or does it sounds like I am imagining things? I don't think so. I am such a fan of Lagavulin 16, and I hate to speak ill of it, but something seems amiss here.

Thanks so much in advance!

Stephen



Take the empty bottle back to your pub and get your money back. Hopefully you've left a little dribble at the bottom so they can taste just how bad it was. I bought a laga recently and its just fine.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby vcdman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:39 am

I have heard recently somewhere in the industry (cant recall where tho) that Laga was made a big change to its 16 yo bottling (i have a funny feeling that they lowered the peating levels)

Also any Laphroaig fans beware, they have lowered the bottling abv for the standard from 43% to 40%. Its definately changed Laphroaig for the worst.

Tis a sad day.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:31 am

Collector57 wrote:people tel me that's just nostalgia.

I hear that a lot too, but I do think malts have changed. Perhaps greater consistency brings less excitement.

It does sound as if your bottle may have been ex display though Stephen. Maybe the sunlight got to it.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby rmcq » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:05 am

I have noticed a few very poor quality corks in the last year or so. 2 Bruichladdich corks split in half when I first opened the bottle just a few weeks ago. I let Bruichladdich know, but they ahvnt bothered to get back to me.

There have been a few distillery and independent bottlings (not just Bruichladdich) that have had very loose corks as-well. Hopefully suppliers are aware of the issues.

I have also had some very bad whisky at non-specialist bars. Most of their stock would be slow selling, and therefore sits on the shelf half full for extended periods of time. The less whisky in the bottle the faster it will oxidise and go flat (same as wine).

I generally try and pick the whiskies in pubs that either sell faster or have yet to be opened - as quite often the bar-staff are very reluctant to believe that the product has gone off - they are under the misconception that whisky lasts indefinitely.
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby schitzengiggles » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:47 am

Cork taint isn't actually related to the physical condition of the cork itself.

I'm putting all of my eggs in the cork taint basket, and frankly I'm staggered more have not jumped on my bandwagon?

Am I the only person who has had a corked whisky? :o
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Re: Very odd (bad?) Lagavulin 16

Postby lexvo » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:10 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:My last 2 bottles of Lagavulin I have found to be much duller and uninspiring compared to what I expect from it. Still good to drink just not what I used to think Laga was. I had the 21 lately and got that original thrill I used to get from the 16yo.

SO it brings me to an interesting question ... as a person who has always had a bottle of Laga 16yo in my cabinet for years have I now out grown it ...


My experience also. Laga 16 is my favorite whisky, but I feel the taste has changed the last few years: less smoke and maybe more seaweed.
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