Lagavulin 12-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2021
Stated Age
12 years old
Refill American Oak
56.5 % Vol.
700 ml
The Lion's Fire
Bottle code
Added on
30 Sep 2021 1:51 pm by Tauti
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 140.75

166 × in wishlist

220 × member ratings

1119 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Lagavulin 12-year-old

47 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.67 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2021] I screened my old books to find out the price history of this classic 12-years old cask strength Lagavulin edition - here it is: 65€ (2002/3), 84€ (2011/2), 94€ (2015/6), 97€ (2019), 112€ (2020) and now 125€ (2021). It seems as if the price increase significantly accelerates over the last two years...

    ...but the quality can not keep that pace. Personally I still like the 2019 edition best while this year's release is a little better than last year's. Nevertheless, all three are still on a high quality level making Lagavulin one of the most consistent distilleries of the last decades.
    • Nose
      90 90
      The colour is pale straw and the nose offers the trademark clean Lagavulin profile but it smells a little less mature than my beloved 2019 edition. This is still of high quality without doubts but somehow I miss something - but I can not describe what it is. Maybe this edition is a little too much polished and "streamlined" and this does not change even after a longer breathing time.
    • Taste
      92 92
      The taste offers an unusual but interesting maritime spike with a powerful saltiness, smoked oysters and seaweed in a rich malty-wooden sauce. This is really delicious and very interesting to explore. After some chewing the barley sugars grow stronger and sooth the bitter peaty and wooden flavours which re-establishes a fine balance of flavours. The second dram is even better than the first was, so be generous and reward yourself with a rather bigger measure when tasting this beauty!
    • Finish
      91 91
      The initial mouthfeel is a little hot (due to the high abv) which quickly dissolves into a warming and nicely coating texture without distracting moments. The finish is long and adds more maritime-peaty impressions beside cold bonfire ashes (imagine an extinguished peat-fired BBQ at the shores of Islay). Some water turns both nose and taste more punchy (alcoholic) and releases a tasty chocolatey note during the finish. A bigger reduction takes the punchiness away again and releases the maritime impressions in the nose too (great!) while the taste smooths and turns even more quaffable. I like to explore this dram neat first but then I prefer to saviour it at a reduced level of about 46% abv.

  2. Maltbehr64 scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Whiskyfun: Exclusively refill, a legendary age and a solid strength, I can't see what could go wrong. Maybe a stork making a low pass over WF's terrace and stealing my glass? Well, let me first get my old riffle and we shall then proceed… Colour: white wine. Nose: Lagavulin 12 CS always feels like home. Astounding mineral, tarry, slightly terpene-y arrival on the nose, then flints, peat, smoked turnips (why wouldn't one do that) and smoky grist. Very compact. With water: no one can beat a manzanilla-like profile. Please pass the langostinos! Mouth (neat): sends shivers down your spine, looks like they finally managed to smoke lemons. Then they added fresh almond paste and just sea water. Absolutely awesome. With water: all right, all right. Sublime saltiness, oysters, manzanilla indeed, flint smoke, drops of lime juice, a drop of Andalusian olive oil (obviously)… Have I written that I find this sublime? Finish: long, tight, greener, lemony, fresh. In the aftertaste, a feeling of having wolfed down a whole jar of pickled samphires. Comments: Lagavulin 12 CS may be like the iPhone, every year they raise the definition. The good news is that you don't need any cables to make it work. Seriously, this new one is totally splendid. Whichever the price, which I don't know about at time of writing, it's B-F-Y-B whisky. SGP:467 - 92 points.

  3. DannyDram scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    I wanted to know exactly and accordingly I tasted seven editions, 3 Lagas (12yo) and 4 Laphis (10yo) side by side. My order looks like this:
    1. Laphroaig 2017, 10yo, B009: 91.6P (filigree, depth)
    2. Laphroaig 2020, 10yo, B012: 91.0P (intensive)
    3. Lagavulin 2019, 12yo, DSR: 90.8P (filigree)
    4. Lagavulin 2021, 12yo, DSR: 90.4P (intensive)
    5. Laphroaig 2019, 10yo, B011: 90.0P (balanced)
    6. Laphroaig 2021, 10yo, B013: 89.0P (mainstream)
    7. Lagavulin 2020, 12yo, DSR: 87.4P

  4. wako93 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    I will never understand the fascination behind young Islay whiskys. Smoke is initially superimposed. Then very dry and straight with vanilla and light barrel notes. Hardly any fruit.
    Straight ahead with no mistakes, but whether that's 92 points ..

  5. Blake or Mortimer? scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    For me, quite simply the best 12-year-old Special Release Lagavulin since the awesome 2016 (my personal favourite throughout the last few years).
    Actually imho this 2021 is combining the smooth characters of 2015 with the complexity and truly astounding length of 2016.
    Will need to taste them H2H and after some time of opening, but unfortunately no open 2016 currently (please help..????)
    As for the price: not cheap by any means, but for me, that's unfortunately in line with current pricing of over 10 years Islay Cask Strength?
    Quite shockingly doesn't... shock me anymore.

  6. Dottore scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    For me the best bottling of the special releases in years.
    A Lagavulin that could hardly be better.
    • Nose
      92 92
      Wonderful sweet and smoky nose. Strong maritime influence, salty. Seaweed and olive oil. Dextrose. Baked banana with honey in a Chinese restaurant
    • Taste
      91 91
      Weightless on the tongue, downright wonderfully oily, gentle smoke, maritime, wonderfully harmonious. Much less impetuous and wild than expected, blindly I would have thought him much older.
    • Finish
      90 90
      A bit woody in the finish, a subtle saltiness, creamy sweet. Long and warm.

  7. FCBayernMuenchen1900 did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    I think the price is way too high. If you consider that I only paid 91.50 euros for the bottling from 2019 and only 97.50 euros for the bottling from 2020, then I cannot understand why you should suddenly pay 123 euros or more in 2021. Here 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. Has also worked for me in previous years (in 2019 I waited until June 2020 and in 2020 I waited until the end of January 2021). If you don't do this and blindly pay any price, the manufacturers will always try to milk the customer. Incidentally, it is similar for the Talisker 8 years. Both times when it was released as a special release, I paid around 83 euros for it and currently you should pay at least 90 euros.

  8. galg33 scored this whisky 90 points Member Senior

    Nose: Lovely and medicinal, with tarry ropes and some spend bandages, there’s a lot of minerality going on in here as well, lemon zest hovers above and a sweet/salty sensation with barley sweetness, smoke, and white pepper, with water hint of olive brine, is more pronounced, as well as tasted oak, and hints of sea-spray. we’re definitely on islay time.

    Palate: That’s a Lagavulin alright, and It would take a genius to spot that even blindfolded. very much the Lagavuling style – lovely bonfires, quite a lot of sweet smoke, and more of the lemon, some pepper, and chili bite, but not too hot and fairly lovely to sip, more of the saline-y touch, and brine, olives, and sea salt, oysters and bitter toasted wood, and peat reek, soot and coal, TCP.

    Finish: salty, smoky, tarry, sweet peated barley eaten from the floor malting, bitter smoky chocolate, and lemon. lovely.

    Conclusion: This year’s 12 year old does not disappoint in any way. Excellent stuff, high-quality ‘laga’ for you. around 130 quid is not cheap though – for a 12 year old even at ‘cask strength’, but they will sell well. I wonder how it would match against the 26-year-old. more info soon.

  9. LeChiffre scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
      smoky-sweet; beautiful maritime notes; salty sea air; Seaweed; candied citrus notes; smoky grain; some vanilla and honey
    • Taste
      91 91
      beautiful oily mouthfeel; sweet and spicy; maritime; Seaweed; Citrus notes; with time in the mouth a tingling pepperiness appears; smoke
    • Finish
      90 90
      spicy; Seaweed; slightly salty; delicate sweetness; Citrus; some wood; smoke

  10. Whisky_Momente scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Wow, if you don't try it, you've missed something. Really great and then you understand what is special about Lagavulin. Smoky, creamy, slightly sweet, absolutely round and harmonious. No burning, no fuss or missing notes. Absolute top quality. This again shows that age is not the decisive factor when it comes to whisky. Just lovely. I am happy that I picked up the money and allowed myself 2 bottles.


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