The supply in Canada has been sporadic - and now the only release available is the distilled in 1986 - bottled in 2002 (16 years) with a lgv. 4/490 marking - master distiller unnamed. I haven't opened this one yet (and will likely stock up when I next have a chance) - but I'm curious if anyone would like to comment on the '86 version. Could they have shortened up the process to meet our impatient demand?
With Lagavulin being very precious with its casks, you would assume that there is less possibility for some of the finer casks to be set aside for the Distillers Edition bottlings.
Is it possible that the malt is spending less time in its second cask? Could it be that PX casks are harder to source now than when the Distillers Edition bottlings were first introduced?
After all, the Distillers Editions of the Classic Malts were launched fairly recently, weren't they? Would I be right to say they were launched in 1998? (Not sure - correct me if I'm wrong).
Whilst five years has elapsed since 1998, the vintages have gone from 1979 to 1986, which is seven years, so somewhere along the line some shortcuts have been introduced.
I believe Jon may have been using an older editon of the Jackson bible. For example, my 1984 printing scores the Lagavulin 16 at 95 - and the only other mention I can find in that book that comes close is Macallan 25 at a 95 score. The Springbank 1966 rated a 93 and the 30 yr old a 92...
Now leap ahead to the next edition (1999) and the Springbank 25 achieves a 95 as do a host of Macallans (5+).
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