...and it seems as if Diageo really improved the quality of its special releases after all the chequered ones of the last years. This is one of the cleanest, impressive and to-the-point Lagavulin I had for years. All, really all is perfect and in balance with beautiful malty, peaty and wooden flavours that are delicious. I have to admit, this is really great stuff and it confirms that 12 years is most probably the perfect maturation age for Lagavulin. Hey Diageo, I forgive you all your shaky releases of the last years not just for this Lagavulin but for the Glen Ord and Cragganmore too.
[August, 2021] I re-tasted this dram tonight and fully confirm my review and score. So if you prefer the clean and naked Lagavulin profile this is one of the best releases from this fine distillery (al least for the last ten years), not kidding. Dangerously quaffable and worth every buck (to me).
The colour is pale gold and the nose is very shy first (for a Lagavulin). But after some breathing it nicely opens up and offers a clean and "stripped-off any non-spirit effects" Lagavulin profile which is great if you like this. All others might find this (possibly) unimpressive but they should add some water to unleash the beast! Hey, are you now satisfied? I am! The maritime-medicinal peaty aromas are flabbergasting, the malt provides a fine sweet backing and the wood structures everything in a perfect way. This nose cries for water and rewards it accordingly.
Oooh - this taste reminds me of my beloved 12-years old Lagavulin from 1988 (WB id 4437) that I scored 94 points. It is of (almost) equal quality - absolutely clean, fresh and very complex for a 12-years old. I do not name all the different flavours here because other members do that better than I but I can assure everybody - this is Lagavulin at its best. A perfect cask selection, Pinky (or whoever did this)!
The dram arrives warming and instantly coating on the palate without any distracting moments. The finish is long (what else?) and adds even more of the delicious peaty and malty flavours without any distracting moments at all. It literally sticks to my tongue and throat forever, triple wow! Water releases all the fine aromas in the nose too and turns the taste extremely dangerous (quaffable) - it is hard to stop drinking this delicious stuff...