Lagavulin 12 Year Old 2012 | 56.1% abc (112.2 Proof), $109.99/bottle (Gift but was purchased Here)
Color/Appearance: Very pale yellow, no sherry casks or colorant here. Looks glorious to me. This bottle is for those who know what they are getting into, no need to fool them with colorant. The barrels Lagavulin uses for this are second fill bourbon. So lets say 8-10 years with bourbon in them. Lagavulin gets them and gives them to an unnamed Scottish distillery where they age their own whisky in them for lets say another 10-12 years. Then they are emptied and filled with the Lagavulin new make and 12 years later this is what they contain. Magic. Not a lot of color is extracted from those 12 years in the oak and that is fine. Bottle has all the beauty of the classic 16 year with some extra details about the batch. This is a bottle that can really make your collection feel special. Diageo may makes some callous corporate decisions but this is one bottle they got perfectly right.
Nose: Lemony cookies dusted with coal, forest fire nearby, fresh asphalt, seaweed drying on the beach, salty mist at night.
Palate: Savory tires? Drying oak. Tar heated with burning peat smoke. These special barrels have imparted complexity and dry woody notes but without the brown sugary tastes normally associated with bourbon barrels. This really really lets the peated malt shine. This is so clean and purely Lagavulin. There is some balance here with sweet notes counteracting the peaty ones but they don’t really stand a chance. Peat, peat and more peat. Bring it. Wonderful mouthfeel with the nearly cask-strength whisky leaving nothing for you to want.
Finish: A lemony peat lozenge dissolving slowly in your mouth. Dry bandages and iodine. Salted oceanside rock..
Overall: A young twelve year old? It is possible to capture the vigor of peat and marry it with the elegance of age. Reminds me of the Corryvreckan but with even more power. Maybe the Corryvreckan has a few more juicy citrus notes but this has more contemplative peat complexity and tar like elements. This is a dram you really need to concentrate on. Challenging in all the right ways. Doesn’t seem like there are enough whiskies like this one. People seem to love easy whiskies they can drink every day. This is not that whisky. This is one that will grab you and take you on a journey. Are you ready?