Lagavulin 8 Year Limited Edition

Limited Edition: 200th Anniversary
Aged 8 Years
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
48% ABV (96 proof)
~$65 (sample provided)

Color: very pale yellow

Smell: unmistakeable Islay character shining through from the get-go: iodine, seaweed, and wet rope. There's also quite a bit of malty sweetness mixed in with some nuttiness, lemon rind, and a salty/ashy element. In short, it smells delicious and well-balanced.

Taste: mild honey sweetness at first, and then the midpalate is all about the peat and toasted nuts. The finish brings in some salty ash flavor (not a bad thing), and there is also a bit of herbal citrus bitterness.

Overall: this is a different peaty beast than the flagship Lagavulin 16 offering, and I have to say I'm impressed. There doesn't seem to be much (if any) sherried influence, so the peat reek really shines through. Even though this is a much stronger ABV than the 16, it drinks very smooth. Extremely enjoyable, and a great change-up from the standard bottling. "A-" for me.