Lagavulin 12 Review

Lagavulin 12 Review

Lagavulin 12 is technically part of the Diageo Special Editions that get released every year and along with the un-peated Caol Ila it’s among the cheapest of those releases; Brora and Port Ellen being the most expensive by a long shot. It’s a cask strength celebration of the Lagavulin spirit and something that I look forward to trying every year.

According to Whisky Advocate: Lagavulin 12 2013 Edition

“Brought back as an annual limited edition to satisfy the cravings of those who like their peat full-on and never understood why Lagavulin moved to 16 years of age, this is the Kildalton coast single malt at its most boisterous. Aromatically, it blazes a seaweed-strewn, zigzag pathway between sea, shore, and land: bog myrtle and samphire, beach bonfire, sea spray, and melon before, with much-needed water, there’s slow-burning Latakia pipe tobacco and Lapsang Souchong tea.”

While I do get to try it almost every year at a friend’s house, bar or tasting I don’t always buy it and that’s because it’s a bit expensive and a bottle lasts me a good 3-4 years. This one was the 2013 edition which I only recently opened and it’s quit nice as you’ll see in the Lagavulin 12 review below.

Lagavulin 12 Info

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Lagavulin
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon
Age: 12 years
ABV: 55.1%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Release: 2013

Price: $120

Lagavulin 12 Review

EYE
Golden yellow

NOSE
Peat, floral, honey, malt, complex orchard fruit, citrus, coconut, white pepper and some intermittent, light, notes of iodine, graham and saline. Water kicks up iodine and saline a bit, but outside of that changes it very little.

PALATE
Smoke, orchard fruit, vanilla, honey, citrus, wood, pepper, iodine and light notes of saline, butter and graham. Water kicks up the saline a bit but again changes it very little.

FINISH
Long layers of smoke, wood, fruit, smoked meat, charred marshmallows, hay and saline.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Nicely balanced, medium body and a soft buttery texture.

OVERALL
This 2013 edition of the Lagavulin 12 is a tasty malt and my favorite aspect of this lovely little tipple is the finish. The aroma and flavor are no slouches, but the finish is so elegant and complex it makes slowly sipping it an alluring experience you want to relive over and over.

The Lagavulin 12 does seem to be a bit of a “hit or miss” whisky in regards to being between a B+ to an A- year over year, but it’s always a good whisky and a great option if you’re looking for a double digit cask strength Lagavulin. While on the whole I tend to like the Lag 16 more, this is always a good way to experience Lagavulin.

SCORE: 88/100 (B+)

Lagavulin 12 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 88
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 88
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88

Summary

Lagavulin 12 is pretty good. Always worth a try year over year.

Lagavulin 12 Label

Josh Peters
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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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3 Responses to Lagavulin 12 Review

  1. I don’t like to pick favorites, but among the peated whiskies, this is my alpha dog, at least most years. The 2013 was an okay year, but 2014 and 2015 were better. The 2011 was “to die for”. It’s gone from $65 to $95 in one fell swoop about a year ago, so I haven’t picked up one since. Love this stuff!

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