Category Archives: Islay

Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1995

Distillery: Lagavulin
Name:  Distillers Edition 1995
Region: Islay
Age: 16
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: 4/499
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £66
Colour: Amber
Nose: Light peat, rich, sweet
Taste: Light peat, full bodied, rich, smooth, coastal, dry
Finish: Light peat, warm, medium
Rating: 8/10
Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1995

I am a big fan of the standard 16yo Lagavulin so after finishing a bottle I decided to try the next one up, the Double Matured Distillers Edition from 1995, and boy was I not disappointed. It is less peated that the standard 16yo as a result of the maturation in Pedro Ximenez casks, but it has also resulted in a richer flavour. This is apparent on both the nose and the palate, with the palate also giving your mouth a lovely coating of the initial richness, which then dries out with a slight coastal note coming through, leading to a lovely, warm, medium length finish. The peat notes are apparent throughout but is perfectly balanced, not overpowering.

Due to it’s smoothness I also did not find the need to add water, it is not harsh. If you prefer water however then it has plenty of flavour to allow a generous amount, if that is how you take it.

A wonderful whisky that I am happy to have as part of my collection. It is an improvement on the standard 16yo in some ways, but looses some of its character at the same time. To choose between them would be very difficult, I would simply prefer to say you should have one of each, they both have their time depending on your mood.

Jura Superstition & Diurachs’ Own

Superstition

Distillery: Jura
Region: Islay
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: N/A
Colour: Amber
Nose: Light, coastal hints, slight sweetness
Taste: Light, fresh, lightly peated, coastal
Finish: Light, medium length, slightly dry
Rating: 6/10
Jura Superstition

Quite accurately described as ‘delicate/light peated’ on the boxes’ 2×2 matrix, this is a very easy drinking dram, fantastic on a hot summer day. It is light and refreshing with slight coastal (sea air, saltiness) tones on the nose but with a little sweetness hidden in there also. This continues onto both the palate and the finish but with the addition of a slight peatiness coming through.Although it is a little stronger than normal at 43%, the addition of water is not necessary due to the already light nature of the drink. The strength is not over powering and the addition of water does loose some of the qualities of the whisky. If you like your lightly peated whiskies or if you want a good introduction into peated whiskies then this is a fantastic choice.

Diurachs’ Own

Distillery: Jura
Region: Islay
Age: 16
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Colour: Amber
Nose: Rich but crisp, coastal hints
Taste: Well rounded, slight sweetness, coastal
Finish: Long, coastal, slightly dry
Rating: 6/10
Jura Diurachs' Own
Diurachs is the Gaelic name for the people of Jura and the whisky is described as ‘rich, full-bodied and unpeated’ on the boxes’ new matrix, now a 5 section circle due to the addition of Elixir. It has a deeper, more intense nose it than the Superstition yet manages to keep a crispness to it at the same time, a little unusual but it works. The coastal tones are evident throughout helping to keep it refreshing, which is nice change for a rich whisky. It makes it a whisky that can still be enjoyed on a warm day, when I usually expect this type to be more of a winter warmer.

The Ileach Peaty

Distillery: Ileach
Region: Islay
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: Yes
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Colour: Amber
Nose: Peaty, chemical
Taste: Medium weight peat, smooth
Finish: Short but harsh and bitter
Rating: 2/10
The Ileach Peaty

I have become a fan of peated whiskies over the last few years but I can’t quite settle with The Ileach Peaty. It’s not that it is distasteful, it just that it feels, well fake. It doesn’t feel like a peaty whisky, more a whisky with peat flavourings added. Now it is a no-age statement whisky so I am not expecting a top class dram, but there doesn’t appear to be anything more than medium strength, slightly artificial peaty note to the nose and on the palate, it would be nice to have something else there, something genuine that you can sink you teeth into. I found the finish a little surprising as well because the palate is smooth but the finish is a little too bitter.

It may just be the lack of age that lets it down, but I would personally spend the extra on something like a Laphroig if you want a peat monster or save a few quid and go for a Ledaig if you want a more subtly peated whisky. Sorry Ileach.