the following is not about Lagavulin but the thread over at http://www.maltadvocate.com/what-does-john-know.asp
"Is every whisky great?"
fits this discussion.
Here an interesting quote:
John Hansell Says:
October 27th, 2008 at 12:42 pm
Kallaskander, yes, I agree with you that a lot of the whiskey released today is marketing-driven (i.e., the marketing people are telling the distillers what to make and how much to make).
On more than one occassion, I have had a distiller tell me that he can't produce the amount of whisky the marketing department wants and maintain the quality of the product. One went as far as telling me (off the record, of course) to get a bottle of the first batch, because the batches after that won't be as good.
It is possible with every successful whisky today that the newer bottlings or some batches are very different from the whiskies we used to know.