Lagavulin 12-year-old Pure Islay Malt

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
White Horse Distillers Ltd.
late 70s
Stated Age
12 years old
43.0 % Vol.
750 ml
43% / 75cl Printed in Black at the Bottom
Added on
15 Dec 2012 3:34 pm

Average value

€ 1.830,26

45 × in wishlist

83 × member ratings

57 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Lagavulin 12-year-old Pure Islay Malt

19 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 92.74 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [September, 2004]  Together with friends I emptied a bottle that I bought for 350 Euro in June, 2003.

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored this 95+.  My notes state an unbelievable delicious and very quaffable Islay dram with a stronger sherry profile than other batches of this 12-years old cream label Lagavulin.  Unfortunately it is almost impossible to differentiate between these different batches (this one had a slightly darker colour but it is recognisable when directly compared to another bottle only).  Great stuff!

  2. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [April, 2002]  I had this dram during a Grant Carmichael tasting while cruising the river Rhine aboard MS Godesia.

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored this 95.  My notes state a dark sherry colour and an oily body  The nose is of a sweet oloroso sherry profile as is the body.  Both are extremely complex and perfectly balanced.  The finish is of medium length.

    The price of this bottle was about 300 Eurobucks back in 2002.

  3. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [February, 2003]  I had another dram during a Grant Carmichael "Islay" tasting at Rolandsbogen.  These old cream-label bottles with the imprinted horse at the shoulder of the bottle were released during the sixties, some even in the fifties.  Most probably the whisky was distilled at a time when the Lagavulin stills were heated by direct coal fires before they switched to (indirect) steam heating in 1962.

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored this 95.  My notes state a bold and rich sherry profile that is well balanced and quite peaty.  The finish is long.

  4. ctu scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    What a great Lagavulin from the 1970's years. Big whisky!
    • Nose
      93 93
      Peat, salted caramel, ripe fruits, antique leather, tobacco and Lapsang Souchong tea.
    • Taste
      93 93
      Powerful and creamy. Matured oak, sherry, forest fruits, vanilla, orange peel and herbals.
    • Finish
      92 92
      Long, peaty, spicy.

  5. checkpointuk scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Color: Old Gold
    Nose: Cigar and ash, fresh tobacco leaves, heavy orange aromas, smoky tea and much old peaty sherry, delicious herbs, coffee roasted aromas with vanilla, hazelnut, coal, shoe soles, leather. This variety of flavors is just gigantic. Very old style!
    Taste: Salty resin, smoky peat, earthy notes, wonderful sherry aromas accompanied by dull herbs. With orange peel and vanilla, getting salty. Towards the end, the herbal flavors predominate.
    Finish: Very long, dry salty, tobacco and tar, slightly tart herbs with rather mellow orange, dry peaty finish.
    94 points (nose: 94 / taste: 94 / finish: 94)

  6. svenske2015 scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Serge Valentin wrote about these late 1970s / early 1980s bottlings in 2012:

    Lagavulin 12 yo (43%, OB, White Horse Distillers, UK, +/-1979)  We've tried other variants of the well-known 'white label' but this one has the bottom of the label printed in black instead of red, so it's rather from the late 1970s if I'm not mistaken, so one of the very last versions before they launched the 'green on cream' label. Colour: orange gold. Nose: makes you cry. I mean, it's not huge, it's not wham-bam and it's not even very smoky, but it's perfect. As often, there's this feeling of smoked oranges on a bed of ham and kippers, with some dried seaweed, tar, coal, motor oil and just touches of chocolate. One of the unbeatables. Mouth: waaaaah! I'll keep this short and sweet: please call the anti-maltoporn brigade. Having said that, I know some malt lovers who'll find this too dry and ashy, but that's precisely what I love in this whisky, amongst many other things… Finish: amazingly long and big at 43% vol. More extreme tar, earth and brine in the aftertaste. Comments: to think that in some countries, they would have given you one bottle for free if you bought a case of cheap rum! Indeed, few people were buying it… But maybe that's why you can still find it if your wallet isn't too flat. Anyway, it's glorious, classic whisky. SGP:457 - 94 points.

  7. el Gato scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      95 95
      Killer nose. Just superb. So deep. Peat! Sherry matured indeed. Cinnamon. Camphor. Blackcurrant jam. Mint. Tarragon.
    • Taste
      93 93
      Creamy and thick, Meaty dram!! Peat first. Then the sherry hits. Chocolate. Cherry. Apricots, and loads of cinnamon. Eucalyptus. Slightly Chemical.
    • Finish
      94 94
      Long and lovely. So meaty still. Cherry and chocolate. Fresh berries. Still dirty, all the way dirty. Tar! Sweet Oranges in there as well. Lovely dram

  8. Calmar scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    The perfect combination of smoky-peat base and sherry extract, very strong aroma revealing in development, full of shades and half-tones, juicy, saturated; light and airy taste / finish fully support the overall direction. Strongly adds to the development.
    • Nose
      Open, dry, very juicy and bright notes of ash and peat, coal, lemon peel and mineral tones in the background, sweet creamy shades, toffee, dried fruit, chocolate.
    • Taste
      Rich, airy, oak, peat, coal, toffee, dried fruit, chocolate, a little black pepper, leather goods.
    • Finish
      Spicy, sweet-sour, slightly astringent, peat, ash, oak, chocolate, sweet creamy notes, boiled condensed milk, coffee, some sour berries, leather goods, shoe cream.

  9. Mr. D. scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      95 95
    • Finish
      94 94

  10. lincolnimp scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

     A younger Islay tasting tonight but 10-15 years of age from days gone by, tasted in this order:-  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/12324/ardbeg-10-year-old-guaranteed  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/38654/lagavulin-12-year-old-pure-islay-malt  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/9829/bowmore-15-year-old  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/17442/caol-ila-15-year-old  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/11524/laphroaig-15-year-old     

    The Lagavulin knocked the Ardbeg out cold taste wise      This is where I would put them but there is little between the Caol Ila, Lagavulin and laphroaig.   

    1 - Caol Ila    

    2 - Lagavulin   

    3 - Laphroaig   

    4 - Bowmore   

    5 - Ardbeg   

    The caol Ila has the best nose, the Lagavulin just shades things on the palate but overall the Caol Ila wins as the nose is so good. The Laphy is a solid third.   

    The Bowmore had a nice nose but lacked power, the old Ardbeg was found wanting against such stiff competition but still a decent dram.


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