Lagavulin 12 Year Old / Bot.2012 / 12th Release

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Lagavulin 12 Year Old / Bot.2012 / 12th Release
70cl / 56.1%
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Bottling
The 12th release of 12 year old Lagavulin from Diageo's Special Releases range. A perennial favourite, balancing price against a punchy cask strength edition of whisky from one of Islay's most mysterious distilleries.
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£70.95
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Tasting Notes:
Tasting Notes by Whiskyfun (Serge Valentin)

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.

Producer's Notes
Appearance: Notably pale green-gold. Delicate beading.
Nose: Soft and beguiling. Farmyard smells – like soft goats cheese on a bed of straw. Soon strengthened by the reassuring arrival of carbolic soap and wood smoke, echoed in notes of spent match and wood ash, with a splash of malt vinegar on fresh sourdough bread. The smoky sharpness is soon softened by smooth, sweet, vanilla custard with a fruity, cleansing tang. Water brings up seaside summer smells, with a trace of lemon - imagine drifting close to shore on a plastic water-bed, holding a home-made lemonade. The sea-air is salty, there’s a distant thread of smoke on the horizon, and the hot, sandy beach is dusty and dry.
Body: Light. Medium
Palate: Bitter-sweet, smooth and vibrant, with lemon or lime zest. Distinctly herbal, with smooth, dark chocolate; then drying, with ash and coal tar: masses of aromatic smoke, cleansing lemon and a piercing pine resin freshness. Better mannered with water; still sweet and zesty, but now fuller, smoother and richer, and just slightly salty. It’s as though simple mixed dried fruit has become rich fruitcake baked in a woodfired oven.
Finish: Lengthy and warming, with notes of smoky tar.
 
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