2011's version was excellent. I especially like the fact that the bottlers don't toy with newish oak too much. Colour: white wine.
Nose: It’s one of the drams that really brings you to Islay. It’s big, it’s very coastal and it always reminds me of these oysters that you can wolf down at the distillery during Feis Ile. Having said that, of the three Kildalton malts, it’s probably both the fruitiest and the closest to coal/ashes/farmyard (vs. tar and medicinal notes elsewhere). Older Lagavulins had much more tar in my experience. A lot of earth and seawater as well, the straight peatiness being relatively moderate so far. Latex, gherkin brine. With water: it’s the briny side that got enhanced. Well the whole became very briny. Or say a plateful of oysters with some lemon.
Mouth (neat): It’s the sweet/smoky combo that’s so peculiar in naked Lagavulins. There’s some lime and salt with a good dose of cane syrup (add only a little mint and you’d get the best mojito ever) and then more and more straight, tarry smoke as well as a feeling of toffee. Big mouth feel, implacable whisky. After a few minutes: became wonderfully limey, it’s a great Pouilly-Fumé. With water: no, the greatest Pouilly-Fumé.
Finish: Long, sharp, zesty. Even more Pouilly-Fumé-ish (deep apologies).
Comments: The perfect crony of Laphroaig 10 CS. Btw, why don’t Ardbeg issue a serious ‘commercial’ wide-release un-branded 10 or 12 yo cask strength? I like the Lagavulin 12 more and more. Will I live, doc? SGP:447 - 91 points.