Lagavulin 12-year-old

Overall rating
87.91/100
votes
354
Whiskybase ID
WB159352
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2020
Bottled
28.04.2020
Stated Age
12 years old
Casktype
Refill American Oak Casks
Strength
56.4 % Vol.
Size
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L0119CM010 00045599
Barcode
5000281063324
Added on
30 may 2020 5:33 pm by Erik Elixir
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 151.56

115 × in wishlist

354 × member ratings

1376 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Lagavulin 12-year-old

80 users have left 83 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 87.91 points.

  1. Highlander65 scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

    Good, even if I expected it to be more "bad".
    • Nose
      Marine aroma, with light smoke coming out of a long-dead fireplace, slight medicinal note, perfectly integrated alcohol. With little water the smoke clears and the peat takes on an earthy and marine consistency
    • Taste
      In the mouth the alcohol is felt more, but the taste is also sweeter and more smoky, grilled lamb chops seasoned with barbecue sauce, licorice. With water, alcohol becomes more bearable, the sweetness is dampened and the salty note is accentuated.
    • Finish
      Long finish, the sweet flavor is enriched with a pleasant salty and meaty note.

  2. Calmar scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A good smoky-peaty whisky of a classic profile, quite rich and varied, but in general, nothing particularly outstanding, a solid good-four, if I may say so.
    • Nose
      Open, dry, airy smoky peat tones, lemon peel, light ash-mineral tones, grain, dry boards, carpentry, thinner, some rubber, sweet caramel notes and freshly cut grass, some smoked meat, bitumen, red rowan.
    • Taste
      Soft, rich, smoky-peaty notes with peppercorns, sharp ash-mineral tones, caramel sweetness, a lemon wedge in tea, some smoked products, candied ginger.
    • Finish
      Spicy, warming, oak, ash-peat and mineral-metallic shades, charred meat, coated tablets, light creamy notes - toffee, salted caramel; citrus fruits.

  3. Maltimex scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    Yes, it's a pure and tasty Lagavulin that also comes with a decent cask strength and not with that miserable 43% vol. of the standard bottlings.
    The Laga offers a pure indulgence in the distillery character of Lagavulin, although I believe the refill hogshead maturation has left subtractive influences rather than particularly large additives. However, this should by no means be interpreted negatively, since a "pure" Lagavulin has just entered the bottle, which, in addition to the characteristically fat, slightly medicinal campfire smoke (that's how I describe the Lagavulin smoke for me) rather mineral and with subtle bitter notes attends. Tasty, you should have tried it - but unfortunately far too expensive.

  4. professor_vsop scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      83 83

  5. LDB scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    I wouldn't want to pay 100++ € for it, but it's expected to be tasty.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Yo, that's the rich lemon smoke nose I was expecting, seasoned with a dash of marine diesel.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Also not surprising: the oiliness, the smoke, but then there is more freshly ground black pepper than I remembered from the predecessors.
    • Finish
      86 86
      It gets salty-dry-smoky towards the back and then kind of chars tartly to a level that might as well suggest nine or ten years of aging.

  6. Gregorsky scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  7. lingige scored this whisky 89 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  8. zzqfyl scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  9. rolabob scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  10. Obynapewno scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Refreshing, to, nuts, mint, herbs
    • Taste
      Creamy, herbs, smoke, vanilla pudding, a little iodine
    • Finish
      Long, smoky, herbal

  11. WhiskyFan2112 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    So for the last few years I've tried the special release of Lagavulin 12 starting in 2014 until now. Not been disappointed, but the quality is not keeping up with the pricing to justify getting any further releases IMHO. Let's see how it tastes.

    Nose starts out with standard lemon juice, brine, bit of oak perhaps, some nice spicy aromas arriving, not nearly enough smoke IMO as in the past.

    Palate starts with honey, then lemon juice, some oak tannins, some drying spices arriving.

    Finish is briny, lemon juice, sooty, oak tannins again.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      85 85

  12. ailean scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

  13. Bartek_097 scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      84 84

  14. Henry Wolf scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Nose
    Peat, sour notes, dough, rubber, light perfume, spices, electrical tape, green fruits, light yeast notes, medical notes, iodine
    22
    Taste
    Bright, fiery effect, sweet with a sour continuation, peat, leather, roofing material
    23
    Aftertaste
    Long, peat, iodine, spices
    22
    Balance
    Bright and powerful release! Unlike previous versions!
    22
    89/100

  15. sakis scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  16. pfaffri scored this whisky 70 points Member Junior

    In terms of taste only average, price-performance ratio just doesn't fit. Especially in comparison to the 16'er

  17. Tordeaux scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  18. Stanzeflasche scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Sea breeze, brackish water, peat palettes and honey pearls. Then the iodine rises slowly, a little soot and at the same time, it's delicious, on icing sugar, sponge cake, almond. Vanilla pod. With the addition of water, the fruits become more insistent, pear, yellow plum, all very juicy. It's very balanced. Sometimes a marshy side emerges, but it is well contained. Very suave, syrupy, easy-drinking palate, on white nectarine, lemon pulp. Vanilla fillet. Rare spices, cumin, peat and iodine in the background. Sea salt. It's warm. At first light, but long, honeyed finish, puffed grains of rice, corn, wheat germ, dry earth under a blazing sun. Gravel.

    https://ilikesky2020.blogspot.com/2021/12/lagavulin-12-yo-special-release-2020.html
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      90 90

  19. Spoerkel scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      90 90

  20. Dionysus scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  21. Glenrothes1973 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Lagavulin 12 CS never disappoints. So much complexity, such depth. And fruit! For me this is the quitessential Bang For Your Buck whisky. It is extremely hard to find a better whisky below €150. I simply love this stuff!
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      91 91

  22. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    https://whiskylovingpianist.wordpress.com/2021/12/05/the-whisky-show-2021-part-6-11-the-misfits/

    C: The first few drams of the day can be a tricky read, especially if one isn’t used to setting their bearings so early. Then again, it’s said the professionals generally ‘observe’ in the morning. All I observed and noted at the time was a fresh oily phenolic dram with a charming mouthfeel. Overall, excellent.

    Scores [+/-] 90 points

  23. Fight65 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Direct comparison with 2021 bottling.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
      IT: 88
      B: 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  24. sidqi scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
      Bonfire,tar,sweet melon,pen ink,sea salt,fresh lemon peel.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Sweet and salty,turning to sour,then spiciness come out.Mouth-coating,coal ash,bonfires,ginger spicy.
    • Finish
      89 89
      Long and spicy,salty,sooty,herbal spices.A little bitter.

  25. Killswitch scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  26. KonstUA scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Nose 22, taste 22, finish 22, balance 22

  27. Maltimizer scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
      Maritime peat smoke, citrus fruits, bacon, thyme, then the typical Lagavulin notes, salt and caramel
    • Taste
      90 90
      Sweet smoke, citrus fruits, honey, further slightly maritime, cappuccino and muesli
    • Finish
      89 89
      Medium length, continued sweet smoke and cereal

  28. DannyDram scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Campfire, flint, mineral, greasy, tar, spicy, citric, peppery, oak. Somewhat lively, very nice texture, delicate, creamy, dense, strong body, good intensity. I like the 2019 release a lot better.
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  29. 3_243F6 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
      Smokey, ashy, but also somewhat medicinal peat. Beside that is a lot of young oak, malt, light honey, vanilla, fresh green apples, lemon. Good but I think the peat and cask assert themselves a bit too much. Better balance with water. 87 -> 88.
    • Taste
      89 89
      After the nose I got distracted for a good hour, but I find this usually balances heavily peaty drams anyway, so I expect no harm was done...

      Less peat and more fruitiness - quite tropical; mango, pineapple, peach, apple, lime. A better balance here than at the nose.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Sweet malt and oak, alongside some tropical fruits (mango, pineapple), apple, and a helping of salty maritime peat.

  30. Simon Stood scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Luxurious lagavulin for 12 years old, everything is comprehensive and harmonious

  31. PRV scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    22/22/22/22

  32. carllos scored this whisky 86 points Member Junior

    Great full bodied whisky without the overwhelming peat

  33. jykoo scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    Compare it with 2017 ed. I prefer the nose on this one which relatively more intense. But when it come to on the palate, the 2017 is much much more enjoyable. I love the oiliness and creaminess of 2017 ed.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Medium + intensity, citrus, pepper, sweet peaty, some ginger and minty note.
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      86 86

  34. pilgrim77 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Plenty of the classic Laga DNA in this one, but it feels a bit rougher (if it didn’t have an age statement I would have said younger) than some previous releases. Perhaps this is due to more wood notes on the nose and palate than I remember. There is certainly a strong oak ‘edge’ to the dram. Lovely, then, but not quite reaching the heady heights of the 12yo SE series.

  35. MrDvorak scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    RATING: 86pts – |83 – 86 (B) → Good| — Not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    • Nose
      87 87
      The nose has a beautiful Lagavulin-ish smokiness and peatiness with hints of vanilla, foliage and smoked oily fish.
    • Taste
      86 86
      The taste is bittersweet, oily with nice creaminess and notes of seaweed, tobacco with light vanilla influences.
    • Finish
      86 86
      The finish is medium lenght and beautifuly warm with notes of smoked meat, brown sugar and burnt hay.

  36. Expraesi scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  37. whiskydramo scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Vegetative sweet peat. Rice cake. Liquorice. Tar and a little bit medical and herbs. Fruit leaf. Walnut, blackcurrant bud. Earthy. Mint. Dried salty fish stinkiness if you dig your nose into it, especially from the bottom. Light pomelo zest.
    • Taste
      Tar, earthy. Not so sweet. Mint. Pomelo those not sweet . Some spices. Spiciness doesn't stay. Grass and anise. Not much change. Watery. Some smoke but no peat
    • Finish
      Sharp pepper. Astringent upper mouth. Slightly bitter, still feels like those big pomelo peel. Later on tiny bit of the vegetative peat, like smoked veg

  38. The_Osprey scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Lagavulin 12 yo 2020 special release 2007, 56.4%. Pale yellow. Aroma fried banana, some nice deep smoky notes but mostly that banana vibe you can get from far cheaper Islay whiskies. Yep very cheap on the nose - I'd have no clue this was a £120 whisky blind. Taste is nice though. Robust, impactful smoke. Ever so slightly medicinal. Burnt logs. Faintest nips of vanilla and oak. Lots of salt and smoke. Rounded and punchy. It tastes miles better than it smells. In saying that a far cheaper cask strength whisky could be similar. Definitely a nice whisky and glad to try it but it's not worthy of the price. Not even close. That smoke is good though. 3.5/84

  39. MaroFF scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Lagavulin is a whisky that always surprises me and usually a big plus. This is also the case now. Alcohol very well hidden, citrus in the background and the power of smoke with charcoal, these are the flavors I like.
    A drop of water ... There is still a lot of smoke in the aroma, but there is also a powerful lemon bomb with a hint of vanilla. The taste is even creamy, oily and more delicate, although it has also become more intense peppery. The end is a lot of chocolate, again charcoal and citrus in the background ... Alcohol ,, no widu, nor hear "
    • Nose
      lots of smoke, campfire, citrus, prunes, raisins, bandages, earthy
    • Taste
      oily, creamy, heavily burnt bread crust, a lot of sweets, coal, ash, sugar lemon
    • Finish
      long, pleasant, slightly spicy, oak, salty lime in the background, slightly warming tip with dark chocolate.

  40. spawnkam scored this whisky 60 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      50 50
      Light nose.
      smoky, peaty, pungent, maritime, herbal, solvents.
    • Taste
      60 60
      Full-bodied, sweet, peaty, smoky.
      Salty, peppery, milk chocolate, butter, creamy.
    • Finish
      70 70
      Long, smoky, peaty and round.

  41. Apikalov scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  42. VISION_CHEN scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    Nose: The nose will feel the temperature rise, Oily, Citrus, Dirty Peat, Charred Charcoal, Salted Fish, this is another face of Lagavulin, it is my favorite style (I have tasted another dirty bottle 53.330) . The quality of aroma is constantly improving, Complex, Expressive.

    Drink: Super Oily, Burning, Burning, Citrus, Malty, Peaty, Sea Salt, in almost perfect balance. it let you release more Saliva, will bring you more Juicey and more citrus.

    Overall: It is too similar to some Caol ila bottles. I immediately poured a glass of Caol ila to verify my idea. The answer is yes. But it did not prevent this bottle of Lagavulin from scoring 90 points.

  43. dram-drinker scored this whisky 86 points Photo Moderator

    Not bad, but nothing special
    • Nose
      86 86
      Peaty, smoky, vanilla, leafy notes, little seabreeze, some iodine, smoked fish - not bad
    • Taste
      87 87
      Oily, little creamy, subtle sweetness, more iodine, seawater, little seaweed, cigar ashes, peaty, little vanilla, little honey
    • Finish
      85 85
      Medium long, warm

  44. Baanaanaabob scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Citrus sweet peat cream, very nice

  45. K C Wong scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  46. riegerjonas scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    2020-11-22: more palatable than the 8er Lagavulin
    • Nose
      86 86
      maritime smoky, citrus note, light fruits, peach, mango, apple, vanilla pudding
    • Taste
      84 84
      typical bacon smoke, creme brulee, caramel
    • Finish
      85 85

  47. Dram Brigade scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Clean peat, and very charcoal-ly. The laga that rub coal on your tongue. While this is more 'refine' in some ways but i do prefer the previous releases that full of that honey glazed salty BBQ meat~

    The 2019 and 2020 Laga 12 is huge depart from their 2015-2018 releases. I enjoyed the 2016/2017 releases profile more compare to these recent releases. Feels like a Kil***n more than a Laga?
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  48. wbarchive_875995 did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Smoky salty smoked meat with brown sugar, fish oil, caramel and burnt hay.

    RATING: 85pts - [n21,t22,f21,b21] → |83-85: Decent|

  49. besar scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  50. geriud scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

  51. Suevia scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Much more dry and austere than the 2019 version, still excellent, idiosyncratic whisky
    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      90 90

  52. aphex scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Once again. A very good Lagavulin. The highlight is the nose for me. Palate is tasty but a bit too sweet for me.
    If you want to have a taste of Lagavulin DNA at cask strength, the 12 years old remains a good choice.
    • Nose
      89 89
      No doubt, it's a Laga 12. Sharp peat smoke, tar, coastal notes (seaweeds, brine), medicinal notes strike first. Then lemons. After a few minutes, more sharp, lemony and coastal. Wet clothes.
    • Taste
      87 87
      The attack is peppery, tarry, smoky and salty. Lemons and ashes in the background. Second sip is more lemony, medicinal and sweet. It remains briny and peppery. Slightly mineral too (chalk).
      With water. Nose is camphory, hints of hessian too. Palate is more lemony and ashy.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Long, coastal, ashy, peppery.

  53. 33rdCASK scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  54. Cakir scored this whisky 84 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      85 85

  55. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    nose:
    mellow, intense, smoky, iodine, medicinal, "citrusy" and on pineapple
    sweetness of flavors that enter gently
    mouth:
    peaty on farmhouse hay, on salt from crates of fish, on peppery spices,
    peat which becomes heavy a bit like the rival Laphroaig with tar, charcoal, then citrus fruits with roasted lime, pineapple, a little caramel
    farmer's return with earthy, medicinal peat and fruits with mixed
    final:
    earthy, medicinal peat, slightly soggy barn hay and citrus, fairly long finish.

    the next day, cold ashes from the extinguished fire, flying ash dust!

  56. FCBayernMuenchen1900 did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    It is finally being offered a little cheaper. I put the link in after I saw the price below 100 EUR by chance. Maybe other dealers will take an example from this ...

  57. sphinx scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

  58. butt scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  59. Teresa scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  60. Sandman scored this whisky 79 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Medicinal, smoke, apricot, caramel, butter babbler, vanilla custard, maritime, cereals and citrus
    • Taste
      Sea water, ashtray, charred wood, iodine, hint of plasters, dried lemon peel and smoke
    • Finish
      Medium, dry, lemon juice, smoke, sea salt, almonds, plasters and burnt wood

  61. geriud scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  62. HokkaidoUni scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    To me, if you aren’t a fishy peater, and you aren’t a bonfire peater, then you are either a minty/eucalyptus peater or a cinnamon peater. This one, like the Chichibu 2018 peated general release, is a cinnamon peater. They remind me of each other except this is absolutely more of a Lagavulin about it.
    • Nose
      90 90
      Nose: sea salt, iodine, bandaids, spice like Ceylon cinnamon, some wet dog and lanolin but not overwhelming, sometimes some wild grape flowers. Pear juice and sweet limes crusted with salt. something slightly floral or perfumy at times. Like industrial carpet cleaner. With water more cinnamon candies. Maybe a bit of mint.

      The wet dog and carpet cleaner is sure to sound off putting but I mean it in the best way possible and it is just faint enough to make it interesting.

      Another way to say “wet dog” might be “doused fire” like when you pour a gallon of water on your campfire. Also a bit like wet sauna in a natural wood sauna house.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Taste: wood smoking fire, cinnamon spice, maybe some pepper, sweet and a bit of wet dog, with water a little sweeter
    • Finish
      88 88
      Lime juice and simple syrup, iodine and sweet smoke. A little too bitter on my tasting. Will try again later

  63. Hvdree scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  64. Yarema scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    It's just fine. You definitely need to buy. Set off in the book!
    Nose - 22
    Taste - 22
    Finish - 21
    Balance - 22
    Rating - 87

  65. kimmosuo scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      83 83

  66. ldcsh scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    Sample 20cl
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      87 87

  67. ConvalRen scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      85 85

  68. L_Gillian scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    What a fantastically balanced dram! It's young and lively, there's a lot of peat and a lot of flavor. I find this 12 year old more inspiring, more complex (and dare i say tastier) than the core range 16 year old.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Lots of fruits and loads of that typical Lagaluvin smoke. Smells a bit of hospital with clean notes of brown spiced biscuit, smoky lemons, canned pineapples and fresh sandalwood.
    • Taste
      90 90
      A smack in the face! Burst of pepper, smoke rolls in from all sides. Quickly it mellows and becomes sweeter. Canned fruit mix and fresh pears, chewable oak wood and tasty earthy peat.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Creamy texture and still some distant sweetness. Slightly bittering oak and ashes, but never unpleasant, seems to last forever too... it delivers!

  69. FCBayernMuenchen1900 did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    Should the price still not fall and the manufacturers / dealers want to continue to enrich themselves, this bottling will stop and you will look around elsewhere. There are many great bottlings from countless great distilleries. The customer can influence prices if he chooses NOT to pay an overpriced price.

  70. FCBayernMuenchen1900 did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    I think the price is way too high. If you consider that the same bottling cost around 90 euros in 2019, then I can't understand why you should suddenly pay 115 euros or more in 2020. The whisky connoisseur and connoisseur is clearly asked not to buy this bottling immediately at an overpriced price, but to wait until the price is appropriate. If you don't do this and blindly pay any price, the manufacturers will always try to milk the customer.

  71. jan.berg scored this whisky 78 points Expert Junior

    I've flirted with this malt for a long time, because the price has always put me off so far. But now the time has come and I pour it myself. It shines light gold from the glass and immediately makes you want more.

    Conclusion:
    A really extraordinary malt in which all aromas harmonize perfectly with each other. No missing notes, a total work of art. The alcohol is perfectly integrated. The smoke is not as strong as expected, but a lot of wood, sweetness and malt. However, it lacks a little depth.
    In terms of price, you have to say it's a tightrope walk. For me it's too expensive and € 80 would have been okay. It would also be interesting to compare it with the Destillers Edition, which is a good 40 € cheaper.
    All in all, you have to say that it is a special malt that you have to try and so it just misses a top malt. But I wouldn't buy it again at the price.

    My rating system:
    100-95: Exceptional whiskys
    80-94: top whisky
    50-79: standard whisky
    0-49: flops
    • Nose
      79 79
      Salty, sea air accompanied by an ashy campfire smoke, creamy vanilla pudding with gooseberry puree, cowshed, salmon smoked on the cedar wood, lemongrass with shrimp, cinnamon, smoked ham, honey-glazed and smoked spare ribs, marzipan juice, glazed onions, with water comes more lemon zest
    • Taste
      78 78
      Salty, pasta water, campfire smoke that covers the mouth, honey-glazed smoked spare ribs, custard flambéed on top, liquorice candy, pepper and some chilli, caramel candy, all in all very sweet, salted caramel, pickled pickles, iodine, tannins from the wood, currant jam, creamy mouthfeel,
    • Finish
      78 78
      An eternally long finish with campfire smoke that fills the mouth, liquorice candy, cinnamon, the sweetness stays in the mouth forever and here, too, currant jam, iodine, sea breeze and pasta water

  72. Palindrome scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    I'm surprised that last year's is rated lower so far on WB. I like last years a touch better. The nose on this one is the usual Lag oceanic fun. It's a beat more "bready" and "doughy" than last year's nose. The wash has fully integrated into the cask wood and peat. In some batches, this is not so. For instance, I have a 9 year old single cask that still is fairly independent from the wood and peat. For me, it takes 12 years for a Lag to become pleasing. Less than that does not gain my affections as easily. Not all distilleries are that way. For some reason, Bruichladdich can go younger and still get away from that "mezcal/banana" not that I don't like. I am allergic to bananas and I've been sick on mezcal, plus younger whisky is often more apt to give me a hangover, and so my tastebuds reject it somewhat and that's what mother nature designed a sense of taste to do, after all: to warn the body of a possible threat to the health. Pregnant women have usually the best sense of smell and taste for obvious reasons (to protect baby). Too bad it's inappropriate for them to taste and spit whisky. After all, they would taste and smell things that most people could not detect. Well, getting back to the nose of this Lag: it's more woody than last year's. Maybe a virgin oak cask mixed in? Oak tannins come right through, and it's nice but I'm not sure I would like the bitterness every time I enjoy this bottle.

    I think in time the nose could become less woody. I'm too pressed for time to test with water today and see if the wood note is less. In short I like last year's nose two points higher than 2020's nose.

    MOUTH: Well, this is quite nice indeed. The peat seems more complex on the palate, which is often the reverse of many good Islays. There is almost an old Brora waxy note from the coal fire days. And of course there's that "sweet and sour" admixture that is often present these days in a good Lag. Still, it feels more focused than last year's . . . even though last years did have more peat smoke, per se.

    What is left here is a bit of Brazil nut, along with a kind of porridge thing, along with dried lemon rind with no juice, per se. Last year's is more oceanic. I have a bottle open right here to compare. The nose and palate are both more oceanic in the 2019 release, at least to my sense of things. And I go to the beach all of the time. In fact, Oregon's beaches are quite a bit like Islay's beaches.

    Last year's Lag 12 finish seems more cohesive to me, but then again my bottle has been opened longer, and so it's not a fair comparison.

    Both finishes are long for a 12 year old anything, but maybe not overly long for a Lag 12. These Lagavulins tend to have long finishes when compared with other Islays.

    The smoke is dialed down this year, yes, it's not as pronounced as in 2019. It's a bit less of a "peater," and so those who enjoy Octomore, for instance, would probably like 2019 more than 2020 of the Diageo Lag. It's odd that last year's is less ashy but more peaty and smoky. Odd. I tend to favor smoke over ash, and so one point less for the finish of this year's than last year's. I did not compare either dram with water, so be warned. This review is at cask strength, but my mouth tends to salivate more than most people's and so my tongue doesn't go numb really as much. In fact, I can feel my mouth salivate just from smelling a whisky, as though to prepare the mouth for what is to come, especially if it is cask strength.

    All told, I find the 2020 to be quite smooth and it reminds me a little of the 2017 and even the 2016. It is less of a wild ride and perhaps less complex than last year's Lag 12. But I must say that both the 2017 and the 2016 were far more FRUITY, and we are talking about actual fruits, rather than merely a bit of lemon oil and citrus. This year's Lag is NOT fruity. But it has other similarities to the 2017 and the 2016, such as smoothness.

    ------------------------------------

    Update: I tried some water in my dram. Probably diluted down to about 48 percent. It did benefit from the water in that the palate became more expansive, but the nose became less sophisticated, and perhaps less pleasing in terms of what scents came through. I recommend enjoying your dram olfactorily, and then putting a few drops of water: a nice compromise.

    This year's seems to need water more than last year's. Ditto with the 2017. It was fine without water and did not attack the tongue meats as this year's does, just a little. Then again, my bottle has not been open long. I do not have an open bottle of the 2017, but I finished one recently. I really liked the 2017 and the 2016 a lot.

    Frankly, I liked both of those years more than anything that has come down the pike since. I know that 2016 rated highest, but 2017 is a sleeper hit, if you ask me. It's very complex and lovely with some unique sweet notes that seem to say "age" to me. Yes, I think the 2017 has some older than 12 year old casks in the batch. Just my guess. I might say the same for 2016. In fact, I'm almost sure that 2016 also has older casks than 12 years of age. Not so, with 2020, I'm afraid. If anything, it tastes a hair younger than 12, even though I trust Lagavulin to label what it is. This year's Lag tastes young for its age. That is my final assessment. Call the 2020 Lag "immature" if you wish. It's strange to say that "ashy" is young, however. This seems like an oxymoron.

    One last thing: I gave last year's Lag an 89. Also, this Lag is not a "fruity" dram, despite what folks say. It has a hint of citrus. That is all. If that makes a "fruity" dram, then I am Ebeneezer Scrooge. Also, IMHO the lemon note on the palate is more dried skin than the juice or fruit of a lemon. The sort of thing one tastes in some cookies and candies that are home baked and call for this ingredient. I'm sorry to say that I miss it in many recipes these days. People of the early 20th century made more use of their lemons because the fruits were more rare. They saved the dried skins for recipes and that is lovely. Anyway, this Lag captures that bygone hint of a millennium gone by. The skin of a Meyer lemon is not a thing to be trifled with. A little goes a long way in cookies. And the added note is quite rewarding as opposed to less potent and less sharp "lemon juice" which does not have the zesty staying power of the dried skin. I've also heard people mentioned grapefruit juice in their reviews of the 2020. I do not detect that note but peat can mingle with the sharper lemon zest and create such an illusion. In the final analysis, the lemon note comes from oak tannins. As I've said, I detect some virgin oak in this year's release. Call me crazy. It's just a hunch. I have no "flies on the wall" at this distillery, although I do occasionally enjoy a few insider tips from other distilleries.

  73. thijs100 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Classically good, the Lagavulin 12 Years never disappoints.
    • Nose
      Lovely notes of nougat, grapefruit and a smouldering bonfire. There are some band aids as well, followed by tinned pineapple, pickled lemon, soft oak spices and a slight minerality. Also some green veggies. Outstanding!
    • Taste
      Sweet arrival followed by tar, charcoal, ashes and subtle spicy notes. Some linseed oil, lemon, and green olives, finally some liquorice.
    • Finish
      Drying, iodine, oak and black pepper. Finally a whiff of chocolate. Long.

  74. hs305 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2020] I liked last year's Lagavulin 12-years old Special Release very much (92 points) and Diageo did what they do annually: They simply increased the price by another 15 per cent. So is this year's edition 15 per cent better hence even more enjoyable, too?

    No, it is not. To be honest: The profiles are almost identical (hey, why should they change?) but this year's edition is more rough and assertive than last year's and displays less freshness and harmony for that very reason. Still this is a great dram, no doubt. But I rather go for the 2019 Special Release which still is available at cheaper prices (WB id 140080)...
    • Nose
      89 89
      The colour is jonquiripe corn and the nose offers the trademark young Lagavulin profile of maritime-peaty, barley-malty and spicy-wooden aromas in abundance. Somehow this nose is more aggressive than last year's one and it seems it is the wood which is more assertive in this batch. It drives the nose a little out of balance, but heavy wood lovers might be in favour of that. For the very same reason I miss the freshness which was so great in the 2019 release but hey, still this is a very fine nose!
    • Taste
      90 90
      The taste is excellent as usual with the holy trinity of the whisky gods (malt, peat and wood) in almost perfect balance. Yes, the wood is strong here too but the powerful barley sugary and maritime-peaty flavours counter this easily (better than in the nose). After some chewing more flavours are released, among them chalky-mineralic, waxy and fruity impressions. The bitter and the sweet side of this dram are a great combo and they team up nicely. No flaw or off-note to detect - there are hardly any flaws in Lagavulin drams at all, so far...
    • Finish
      89 89
      The initial mouthfeel is powerful and hot, no wonder at 56.4% abv. The texture is creamy and coats all of the mouth but there are some bitter-drying moments too (it is the wood, stupid!). The finish is long and turns increasingly bitter on both cold ashes and tannins of the wood. Again, the wood is a little too powerful in this batch (for my taste buds, only). Water strengthens the bitter (wooden) side in the nose but turns the taste smoother hence more quaffable. I like to nose this dram neat and prefer to drink it reduced to about 48% abv.

  75. markjedi1 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    The Lagavulin 12 is a mainstay in the Special Releases. This one is a vatting of refill American oak.

    Ka-boom! I’ve only just poured this baby and already know it’s going to be grand. A chiseled nose on brackish water with linseed oil and a sweet touch of honey and grapefruit. The smoke keeps you waiting for a bit, but then kicks in with a vengeance. Contrary to last year’s expression, peat is not the lead actor in this flick, but the indispensable supporting actor that eventually scoops up the Oscar. Some cow pat, but not an off note!

    What a flavour bomb! I taste nougat, citrus, almond milk (!) and a truckload of fresh Tunisian olives. Really peppery, maritime and just sublime.

    The finish is full of ashes.

    You cannot go wrong with Lagavulin, I guess.

  76. Brave Jester scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    First impression is that this one is way more olier than the one from last year. Also way less citrus fruit and more ashy with a more pronounced mouthfeel and finish.

    Say like the difference between the 2010 and 2011 Special releases but on a lower level for me.

  77. LeChiffre scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Powerful, sweet and smoky - very tasty.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  78. rampah scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I honestly cannot tell the difference between this one and last years version.

    It is very good, as always. But since the older versions are still cheaper, I would recommend to look out for them instead.

  79. WhiskyJpg scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  80. Ulcinj scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

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