Lagavulin 12 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch: I have indulged in Lagavulin before and of course you can read my tasting notes on the standard 16yo and 1997 Distillers Edition right here. Hailing from the oldest distillery in Port Ellen, Lagavulin sure do know how to make a good Islay Scotch Malt! Lagavulin’s 12yo and 16yo were recently awarded double gold at this years San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which is rather fine form from two staples within their expression range. The 12-year-old expressions from Lagavulin do tend to differ, due to the fact that it is bottled in a yearly limited run and it’s natural cask strength, oh and I’ve just so happened to get my hands on a 2014 bottling. The one thing I’ve always found with Lagavulin is just how complex they are and can become once a drop of water has been added to that dram of pure liquid gold.
On the nose: you’ll get a very intense waft of sweet mixed toffee and honey dew. This will be followed up by marzipan, vanilla, a touch of apricots, red apples and a slight hint of lime zest. Some more notes will start to emerge on the nose in the form of cinnamon, all spice, fresh mint, incense, smoke and very welcome oily note. On the palate: you’ll get a very lovely, thick ,oily taste of sweet mixed fruits and toffee along with some intense notes of peat. The marzipan notes will start to filter through, then pears, red apples and that lime zest will make its presence known. The nutiness of almonds will start to emerge, with cardamon and all spice dancing in the background, then an lovely smoky taste that completes the palate. The finish: long, sweet, spicy with lingering oak and peat!
The verdict: There is no denying that I can be a bit biased in regards to Lagavulin, I simply love what they do. But admittedly this limited edition 12yo drop is just so complex, so warming and so well-balanced that gives this Scotch a maturity, which was unexpected. With an ABV of 54.4% you’d be forgiven for thinking it will surely need water. However, adding water does unearth some of its complex notes but if you feel none is needed, then I’d suggest leaving the dram to breathe for approximately 3 – 5 minutes before indulging.
Lagavulin 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be found at any well-stocked whisky shop or online for approximately £80.
For more information on this 2014 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, visit the official Lagavulin website.