Lagavulin 12 years (2016)

One of the most anticipated expressions in Diageo’s Special Releases, now that most of the others are aimed at collectors: Lagavulin 12 Year Old.

Actually for me this is also one of the most boring releases. Not that it’s bad whisky, but the fact that it’s always there and always good makes me more interested in the truly special releases somehow. In any case it’s a favourite of many whisky lovers, for good reason.



Lagavulin 12 Year OldLagavulin 12 yo
(57,7%, OB 2016, 16th release)

Nose: it seems to be getting more fierce (some would say more focused) year after year. Entirely on minerals, smoked kippers, pickled gherkins and a fair dose of sweet rubber. Some sweet almonds. Wet forest floors. Chilli. A little lemon zest. Fair enough, although I never had the rubbery side so loud in previous editions.

Mouth: hugely tarry, maritime and ashy, followed by a second wave of sweet citrus, big pepper and a rounder, creamy side. Some hints of salted caramel too. Seemingly a little sweeter than previous editions, but then it goes back to tarry ropes and liquorice. Hints of ginger and bitter orange too.

Finish: long, on tar and toffee, with some peppery oak.

Very straightforward – definitely the peatiest and least complex Lagavulin. On top of that, there’s something bothering me this year, but I can’t really put my finger on it. I think it’s the rubber. Around € 110, still available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 86/100