Lagavulin 12 2016 Release

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Well here we are again, another year, another Lagavulin 12. Every year Diageo releases a batch of this. Refill bourbon cask matured and bottled at cask strength, this is a very different beast to the classic 16 year old. I’ve been lucky enough to once again get my hands on this year’s release. I really enjoyed last year’s, it was hugely complex and the best Lagavulin 12 I’ve tried to date. So let’s see how this one compares.

Aged 12 years. 57.7% ABV. Matured in refill casks. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength. 

Nose: Typical Lagavulin nose, sweet, grassy peat. Rubber. Scorched fruit peels. Ash. Smoked fish. Woodsmoke. Tar. Light vanilla, light coconut. Citrus oils. Quite a few beachside notes, wet rocks, seas spray, seaweed drying in the sun, shellfish. With water the creamy porridge note I picked up on the palate shows up here in addition to some thick vanilla creme.

Palate: Ashy peat. Huge scorched fruit peel note. Bitter citrus. Sweet peach. Rubber. Wood oils. Dry wood tannins. A bit of a creamy malt note on the swallow. With water butterscotch and caramel pudding notes appear.

Finish: Long. Oily, mainly wood oils. Earthy peat. Cough Syrup. Citrus peels. Coal dust. Light wood smoke. With water menthol and peppermint notes develop.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This one was, for better or worse, a good deal more refined than last year’s release. I really liked the in-your-face complexity and brutishness of the 12 year old from last year, but I can’t really fault it as it was quite rich and flavourful and a fine whisky in its right.

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