Whisky Review: Classic of Islay 2022

If you’re a fan of Lagavulin 16, this is cheaper and better.

Very very barebones label on this, but I did a little digging around.

Classic of Islay 2022 / 58% / ¥9,200

Tasted neat

This “Classic of Islay” is a little mysterious; from the label, we see only that it is a “special selection single malt scotch whisky aged in oak” and that it is an Islay Malt, non-chill-filtered, and bottled in 2022 at 58%. The label also gives us the hint to the secret distillery with the label’s view of the Dunyvaig Castle ruins, which lie across the bay from Lagavulin.

As to the bottling, this seems to be a special larger-scale release by Vintage Malt Whisky Co. Ltd. who normally do single casks for Jack Wieber’s Whisky World under the same name “Classic of Islay” for the Japan market, and so while it is cask-strength (or virtually close to it), it’s also NAS.

Enough brand confusion, let’s give it a try!

  • Color: tawny (1.4)
  • Nose: peat smoke, iodine, tar, sea spray; some burnt plastic, honey, and under the antiseptic, tropical fruits
  • Taste: dirty peat, vanilla, raspberries, some tropical fruits, marshmallow, and smoke
  • Finish: long, oak and butter; pineapple, after a while, caramels

The shops here in Japan sold this one up quite a lot as an unbeatable value for the price, but they were right. This is definitely a delicious Lagavulin, probably a vatting of more active barrels in the 10 year range. It punches right into the pocket of “Laga 16 year old” fans, but with more flavour and maturity at cask strength.

If you live in Japan, it’s still in stock at Saketry and Mukawa as of 2022–09–10.

Rating: 8/10

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Elliott

Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade