One of the most anticipated Special Release each year is the Lagavulin 12 Year Old. It keeps getting very high scores and at the same time it is relatively affordable. Distilled in 2008, this 12-year-old Lagavulin single malt has been matured in refill American oak casks. It is nicknamed The Lion’s Fire.
Lagavulin 12 yo 2008 (56,5%, OB Special Releases 2021, refill American oak casks)
Nose: dry peat with lots of coastal notes and medicinal elements. Beach sand, tarry ropes, with sea spray and iodine bandages. Dried seaweed. Hints of green apple and lemon. A slight mineral sharpness, as well as green olive juice, but also subtle sweetness in the distance. Like most of these 12 year-olds, slightly fierce but very high quality.
Mouth: oily, with a sweetness of salted caramel and bready malt coming out first, before you’re struck by deep bonfire notes, char and plenty of brine. Lemon peels, smoked oysters, iodine and tingling pepper. Dry leafy notes, olives and chalk in the end, with light oak tannin as well.
Finish: rather long, on tar, slightly acrid smoke, green wood and lemon.
I think 2021 brought us a great Lagavulin 12 Years, less sweet than last year and perhaps more briny and coastal than most other years. A true classic. I know people are complaining about the price creeping up, but on the other hand it’s almost impossible to to find this level of quality at a better price. One to savour! Sold out in many places already – check your local retailer, malts.com or have a look at Loch Fyne for instance.