Whisky Wednesday: Lagavulin 16

Normally Wednesdays on this blog are devoted to wine, but when I was transcribing my notebooks a while ago I came across a whisky review I’d jotted down, and I thought I’d share it.

So without further ado, welcome to the first Whisky Wednesday, featuring a 16-year-old Lagavulin. 

Hiding behind the whisky you can see a Chateau Talbot 2003: one of my favourite wines.

This whisky wasn’t as peaty as I was expecting. I’d never tried Lagavulin before but I’d heard it was a peaty scotch, which is the sort of thing I like. It was less intense than a Laphroaig, but still with a pleasant hint of peat.

I drank it alongside dinner. For dinner I’d roasted a duck breast with some blueberries and star anise. On the side I had roast potatoes and parsnips – I always do these with a touch of rosemary and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I was watching A Late Quartet, one of my favourite films.

The whisky didn’t go well with the food, but it did go well with the film, particularly with the swell and dip of the violin music, which sounds like the landscape of northern Scotland.

This is very much a highland whisky. It tastes of the fresh rain you can only find in the highlands & islands: of walking over springy heather, not getting muddy because your feet never touch the ground beneath its purple mattress. Of dark grey slate, granite peaks and mountain cliffs, adders hiding somewhere just beneath your sight, the faintest scent of pine on the wind.

Aerial of a forest in Argyll, Scotland
I spent a fair portion of my childhood in Scottish pine forests

This whisky would pair well with rabbit, stripped into slices and cooked slightly stringy in its own juices and broth left over from last time; new potatoes on the side, a butter-garlic melt over them with the faintest hint of lemon and chives. A dark and crunchy salad, not too complex.

And to finish: crumbly savoury crackers with the lightest dusting of sugar across the top, a small sprig of rosemary pressed into each one, paired with a hard and crumbly yellow cheese.

What the biscuits looked like in my mind

If you’re a dessert person rather than a cheeseboard person, it would also go well with hot salted caramel melted across rum & raisin ice cream.

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