As reliably excellent as ever, the 2011 Special Releases Lagavulin 12yo was distilled in 1999 and vatted from refill American oak casks. As you'd expect, this is a very upfront, sooty-sweet Lagavulin in the classic style. World Whiskies Awards 2012 - Best Islay 12 years and under
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CountryScotlandRegionIslayBottlerDistillery BottlingAge12 Year OldBottling Date2011Cask TypeRefill Bourbon
Nose: It's very interesting to try this one after the old OB, because there are obvious similarities, especially the seaweedy notes and the coal/motor oil. What I also get in this one - and which I don't seem to have found in earlier incarnations of the 12 CS - is this wee combination of fennel, aniseed and gentian in the background. Quite some brine too but it's a fairly gentle expression so far, no true peat monster. Should we complain? Probably not… With water: Becomes more tarry and earthy, sooty, dry, medicinal…
Mouth(neat): Sharp like a blade and sweet at the same time. Lemon drops and kippers, oysters and gentian again. Wonderful earthy/medicinal profile developing after that. Crystal clean, as they say. With water: It's the fruitiness that got enhanced, with more lemon and grapefruits, as well as more freshly ground black pepper. I feel it's kind of straighter and more peppery than earlier versions once diluted.
Finish: Long and, again, rather less sweet than earlier 12s.
Comments: Sweet when neat, dry when diluted. Excellent in both cases, of course. Closer to the 2009 than to the 2010. SGP:447 - 90 points.
Tasting Notes by Dave Broom for Whisky Advocate
Brought back as an annual limited edition to satisfy the cravings of those who like their peat full-on and never understood why Lagavulin moved to 16 years of age, this is the Kildalton coast single malt at its most boisterous. Aromatically, it blazes a seaweed-strewn, zigzag pathway between sea, shore, and land: bog myrtle and samphire, beach bonfire, sea spray, and melon before, with much-needed water, there's slow-burning Latakia pipe tobacco and Lapsang Souchong tea. 85 Points
Customer Reviews:(4 reviews)
I normally keep a bottle of the 16yr 43% close at hand (which is my all time favourite so far), but I'm receiving a bottle of this as a Christmas present. Looking forward to a few drams on Christmas eve...then probably a few more!
- VanDamage, 10th Dec '13
Simply put CLEAN & STRAIGHT LAGAVULIN !! No make-up on it... TRUE TERROIR !! Once again,,, CLEAN & STRAIGHT !! NO-MAKE UP TO MASK ITS TRUE FLAVOR.. IT IS 100 MPH FAST BALL !! You will need enough bat speed to enjoy this beauty.
- Youn K., 9th Jan '13
Superb!!! cant get any better.
- El Pedro, 17th Oct '12
From what I heard, I was expecting all peat, no sweet. This malt surprised me. Even at cask strength, in my opinion, it's less intense (flavour-wise) than the 16 year. Great balance. Can't wait to explore this one further.
- Ricky. P, 19th May '12
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