Drink Review: Lagavulin 2002 Distillers Edition

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Finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for at least three months before bottling in 2018, this 2002 Distillers Edition Lagavulin has a rich, coastal character, complimented by notes of dates, cherries, raisins and salted caramel.

Lagavulin Distillers Edition Review:

Style: Islay Single Malt

Colour: Straw / Black

Nose: Milk chocolate, faded figs, cedar, Charcoal, marzipan, smoked eucalyptus, orange, honey, biscuit and wood notes.

Palate: Warm and rich with notes of marzipan, cocoa powder, cinnamon, pyrazines and toffee.

Finish: Medium-long, fruity and lingering, with lingering notes of sherry, dark fruit, oak, dried apricots, nuts and spices.

Balance: In balance.

3.5/5 (Very Good)

I have grown very fond of Lagavulin D Distillers Edition and, although it doesn’t shatter the record, it was still a very enjoyable whisky. It’s perhaps not ‘deeper’ or not ‘harsher’ than the award-winning Distillers Edition, but I think it’s still a very enjoyable whisky, especially when it’s enjoyed at 50%, which is where it ends up. It carries through with a nice sherry presence.

Lagavulin Distillers Edition Review:

Lagavulin is a distiller that tends to hover a little bit above the line of whisky that is just good but not excellent. There are some notable exceptions to this, but on average, it’s a little bit more than the others. Fortunately, it’s quite possible that there are some very decent whiskies below the line that do not have ‘distillers’ written on the glass, so Lagavulin still has a very solid line-up of reasonably good whiskies out of which the Distillers Edition may be one of the best.

Lagavulin Distillers Edition Review:

The Lagavulin Distillers Edition has a note of honey and citrus that you see in the Distillers Edition, but they are both given and the whisky itself seems more generous in terms of sweetness and lack of the hinginess that you tend to smell in the Distillers Edition. There are still some notes of cherry and date, but not to the same extent as you would see in the Distillers Edition. There are also notes of spices, succulent peaches, cocoa, and the sherry is a little bit softer.

This is not a bad whisky, in fact it’s one of the better whiskies from Lagavulin, but I think that the Lagavulin Distillers Edition has a bit more going on and a broader range of flavours that are a little bit more nuanced. Not all, but a few. It also seems to have more spice in it, but then again, that’s not always a bad thing.

Nose: 8/10

Palate: 7/10

Finish: 8/10

Balance: 8/10


A rich and inviting wisp of sweetness dances from the glass, tempered by notes of honey, dates, fresh ginger, and pepper. This is followed by a wave of marzipan with a whiff of magnolia. Chock-full of sherry and spice, this Lagavulin is thickly-rich and very rich in flavour.


Rich and thick, this sherry-casked Lagavulin offers massive layers of pine-like smoke, underlying sherry, dates, herbal hops, warm spices, and dark berry accents.


On the sherry-side with dark fruit, coriander, candied orange peel, cinnamon and allspice.


Toffee, smoke, rich spice, dark fruit and a warm cask-finished feel glue this Lagavulin together very well.


Lagavulin Distillers Edition is a very good whisky that steps in with the strength of the Distillers Edition to give a richer and fuller experience. The body is good and the finish is long and warming. I like how this whisky tackles the English and Scandinavian character of this single malt whisky and it’s not that far from the one that takes home the big Diageo prizes.

Lagavulin Distillers Edition Review:

The Lagavulin Distillers Edition is a surprisingly good whisky. It’s not flawless but, in this respect, it’s not trying to be. It’s cheaper than the actual Distillers Edition and can be a good choice on a warm evening, when you have a box of smoked cheddar and want something rich and warming.

Lagavulin Distillers Edition Review:

Lagavulin Distillers Edition is a good whisky and one that comes the rest of the Lagavulin range very close. It has a more nuanced character and a richer palate. It’s only a few notes off of being an absolute winner. It’s way cheaper than I would buy it for and I would take the Distillers Edition first, but it’s a very good whisky. It’s a little bit sweeter than the Distillers Edition and you can see where the Lagavulin Distillers Edition came from, as it is not near as starkly noeished as the Distillers Edition, but still has a very strong character of its own. Highly Recommended.

Written by Mark Adams

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