The yearly Lagavulin 12 Years Special Release is a single vintage 2007 single malt, matured in refill American oak casks selected to stay quiet and make place for the distillery character.
Without doubt this is one of the reliable whiskies among Diageo’s Special Releases, one you can buy without hesitating.
Lagavulin 12 yo 2007 (56,4%, OB Special Releases 2020)
Nose: saline and smoky, with gentle iodine and medicinal notes but this year also a roundness and sweet fruitiness that I was often missing in previous years. Smoked pineapple and lemons alongside briney seafood, light herbs and aniseed. Pretty great.
Mouth: bam! This is where it hits you in the face. Dark tarry smoke, Lapsang tea and dark chocolate. Hints of salted caramel. Again this is sweeter than how I remember it. Deep earthy notes and barbecue smoke. Bright flashes of lemon and eucalyptus. Towards the end the TCP and olive brine becomes stronger.
Finish: very long, coastal and immensely ashy, with crushed peppercorns and drying tarry notes.
A rather sweeter version of this classic this year, but it’s still a benchmark Lagavulin 12 with dark smoke, punchy spice and plenty of coastal notes. They’ve managed to improve a superb whisky. Available from The Whisky Exchange, or Master of Malt or your favourite local retailer of course.