Lagavulin 12 Year (2020 Special Release)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland
Tasted August 18, 2021
Nose - briny peat, ash, hay, rich malt, seaweed, almond, clove, tar, pineapple, earthy vegetal notes, light caramel, lemon pith, pencil eraser, apple, dry vanilla, musty grape, cocoa, leather, powdered sugar, moderate to high ethanol burn. Taste - lemon oil, smoky peat, leather, orange blossom, mint, underripe banana, yeast, almond, vanilla cream, chili pepper, toffee, milk chocolate, cereal grain, tar, brine, iodine, bitter herbal notes, decaying grass, moderate to high alcohol bite, finishing medium length with deep citrus, bitter peat, cocoa, and chili pepper flavors. The final Lagavulin of my tasting series, and it’s one I’m sure isn’t worth the purchase price. But hey, it comes in a fancy black tube that lets you know it’s special and you’re special for owning it. The nose is full-bodied Lagavulin, but earthier and mustier than the 16 year. Almond, pencil eraser, and a nice rich maltiness are present as well. The palate is deeply citric, with well rounded peatiness and some grassy, underripe banana notes. This is really nice, great even, but the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. I paid around $160 for it, and there are malts I enjoy just as much or more for half the price. Honestly, I’m not even sure whether I like it more than the 16 year. It’s richer, thicker, and hotter, but I think the citrus notes on the palate are overdone and detract from the overall experience. I recommend trying this at a restaurant or snagging a sample, but don’t purchase a bottle at the going rate unless you’re a diehard Lagavulin enthusiast.