There are usually a couple of affordable whiskies in the yearly Special release by Diageo, and the Lagavulin is a dram you can always trust to be very good to excellent (At least in recent years). The Other is the Caol Ila, both can be had for under 80 quid which is not a bad price for Cask strength OB of that calibre, right?
This year’s 12 year old Lagavulin is bottled at 56.8% abv and there a re plenty of bottles out there… Let’s get dramming
Nose: This is a totally different nose than the 15 year old Laphraoig of yesterday. Fierce, youngish peat, with a lot of pepper and chilly, alcohol burn, lemon zest, soot, and peat. There’s quite some wood influence too, and you’re getting some wood spices, and also a sweet, creamy, sugary edge too, whish is nice, as well as some pine and pear drops. A good combination and balance.
Palate: Oh yea! A lot of peat and peat smoke over here, with fresh sweet dough, salted caramel and cereal, on top of iodine, tar, and soot. With water, it does get more peppery, ashy, and dry. There’s some cured bacon as well as a hint of kippers.
Finish: The finish is dry, peppery , sooty and ashy, with a hint of sweet pears.
This is an excellent young Lagavulin, that continues the tradition of great VFM 12 year old Cask Strength Lagavulins. It’s got a complex nose, a great mouthful, and a good balance between peaty notes, fruity, and medicinal notes. You can not go wrong with a bottle of this if you’re an Islay / Lagavaulin fan. At that price , do not think twice, It’s well worth it. Get one, if you can. Sadly not sold in Israel, but many shops worldwide do sell it ( Master of Malt / TWE etc.)