Time for a fairly well priced whisky from this year’s Special Releases: after the Brora, and Cambus which are hardly affordable drams. The Lagavulin 12 CS priced at under £80 , is certainly the best seller of the Special Releases, and offers one of the best (if not THE best) VFM in the series. I’ve tasted most of the recent 12 year olds released, and they were all excellent, so I was expecting this one to be good too.A younger Lagavulin , bottled at around 57% is no brainer, right?
Nose: Bacon chips, lovely wood smoke (quite the Lagavulin trademark), a hint of brine, and sea spray, creamy vanilla and toffee, as well as spices. kerosene lamps, and a hint hessian, wet bandage and tar, does not feel very young at all. nice touch there!
Palate: Pepper, ash and peat, with a nice sweet side to it as well, smoky caramel, sprinkled with sea salt, lots of wood smoke, more of the tarry rope (from the nose), and the hessian, a touch of mezcel-y smokiness, then off to malty sweet, creamy barley juices.
Finish: Long, creamy vanilla, bacon, wood smoke & toffee.
Conclusion: Slightly better than last year’s 12 year old, feels quite rounded, and lovely with enough medicinal / coastal notes, and the smoke. oh, Lagavulin style, which I adore. As always, a great buy, and good VFM. Get one, if you’re an Islay fan. period.