Classic of Islay 12 Years Review

Classic of Islay 12 Years Review

Classic of Islay 12 Years is a whisky that was released several years ago and was one of the whiskies we blind tasted at our Malt Nuts Indie Lagavulin Tasting. It’s an older Lagavulin that was put out by an NDP and has since disappeared, but you can still find bottles now and then online and in auctions. Before I knew what it was I saw bottles going at auction for VERY reasonable prices. Though that was several years ago.

In My words from the Malt Nuts Meeting: Classic of Islay 12 Years

“Nose: Butterscotch, peat, smoked meat, complex dark sweets and a touch of seaweed.
Palate: Orchard fruit, peat, citrus rind, vanilla, salt and a touch earthy.
Finish: Peat, caramel, earth and brine.
Overall: B+ (87-89) This one felt rich and round, I loved it and took a second pour. It didn’t fully read as Lagavulin to me though. More like a Laphroaig / Lagavulin hybrid. Still a fantastic dram.”

Today you’re lucky to find one of these for under $150 and if you do find it for that it’s not a bad deal considering how hard it is to come across indie Lag and how tasty this whisky is. Which we’ll get into more in the Classic of Islay 12 Years review below!

Classic of Islay 12 Years Info

Distiller: Lagavulin (supposedly)
Bottler: Jack Wiebers Whisky World
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon
Age: 12 years
ABV: 46%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: NA – Private sales, auction or specialty shops

Classic of Islay 12 Years Review

Golden hay

Smoked meat, honey, peat, tropical fruit and a bit of cloves, iodine, melon and caramel.

Honey, peat, smoked meat, grilled fruit, toffee and a bit of iodine, spice, leather and salt water taffy.

Long layers of peat, smoked meat, iodine, saline and honey.

Well balanced, full body and a viscous feel.

Rich and round I loved the Classic of Islay 12 Years at first sniff and sip and at the blind tasting where I first encountered it I took a second pour before the reveal. It didn’t fully read as Lagavulin to me though, more like a Laphroaig / Lagavulin hybrid, but it was such a fantastic whisky that when the reveal happened and I saw it was mine I uttered a little “hell yeah” and grinned all the way home in my Lyft.

From aroma to finish the Classic of Islay 12 Years has a crispness and a brightness to it despite some of the darker notes that run throughout the whisky. When it was originally released this whisky was about $40 and considering how amazing the spirit is that’s coming out of this bottle it makes me wistful for the days when it could be found on the shelves at such an affordable price.

SCORE: 88/100 (B+)

Classic of Islay 12 Years Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 88
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 88
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88


Classic of Islay 12 Years is damn good whisky. If you have a bottle I hope you enjoy as much as I do mine.

Classic of Islay 12 Years Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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