Single malt whisky - tasting notes

16 Oct 2009

Lagavulin 12 years (2009)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Lagavulin

The Lagavulin 12 yo is probably the most popular of the yearly Special Releases. It’s a powerful cask-strength dram with an accesible price tag. I’m tasting this year’s release together with the Lagavulin 12yo 2006 release.


Lagavulin 12 years old (2009) Lagavulin 12yo Special Release
(57,9%, OB 2009, 9th release)

Nose: very ‘deep’ smoke, hints of burnt stuff. Some iodine, but initially less round and fresh than the 2006 version. It’s only after a few minutes that vanilla shows through with hints of chocolate, tobacco and apples. Some gypsum. More straightforward than the 2006. Mouth: again a strong base of peat smoke, burnt grass and roasted coffee beans. Very masculine. Not much fruit although there are hints of pear candy and almonds. Some sugared lemon juice. Vanilla. Spicy but not as salty as the 2006. Finish: smokey, not too long with the sweet peat having the last word.

This one needs some time, otherwise there’s not much else than peat smoke. Young, sharp and expressive. A small concern though: it seems Lagavulin is moving towards heavier peat, as clearly seen in recent Ardbegs or the Laphroaig 10yo CS as well. It’s a general trend, which makes it very Islay but also less complex and sophisticated than before. For me personally, that’s a small downturn.
Around € 70.

Score: 86/100

ps/ After I roughly rinsed my glasses with some water, the 2006 glass didn’t show much smoke. The 2009 on the other hand was pretty useless until it was cleaned thoroughly. I guess it shows the difference.

Lagavulin 12 years (2009) 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-10-16



December 2015
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Coming up

  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1934 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.