Immediately quite soft with clean, fresh notes, faint hints of milk chocolate and lemon and then developing fragrant tea-scented smoke alongside nose-drying, maritime aromas, with subtle cereal. A prickliness seen earlier now develops, while the trademark Lagavulin dryness emerges as fresh newsprint. Softly sooty. Softer, fuller and more rounded with water: it's not hugely fruity but there's just a trace of red berry preserve, perhaps, beneath the smokiness, which comes sharply into focus. A soothing light texture, with a magnificently full on Lagavulin taste that's somehow even bigger than you expect; sweet, smoky and warming, with a growing, smoky pungency, then dry, with more smoke. Charred, with minty, dark chocolate. Beautifully balanced midpalate then salty, oven-charred baked potato skins and smoke. Water rounds things, the taste still mighty yet more succulent, sweeter, spicier and now tongue-tingling, mint-fresh and warming. Lovely; clean, very long and smoky. Smoothly, subtle minted smoke surrounds chocolate tannins, leaving a late drying note to emerge in time. It's warming, soft and still smoky with water, not as long or intense now, yet still leaving the palate dry as sweet smoke lingers on the breath.
Wine EnthusiastLook for a straw hue and unmistakably peaty, smoky scent. On the palate, fruity sweetness leads at first, quickly morphing into a billow of pungent peat smoke. Quite drying, and finishes fiery. Water tamps down the alcohol heat and brings more orchard fruit forward. Released in 2016 to honor Alfred Barnard, considered to be the first whiskey writer, as part of the 200th anniversary of Lagavulin.