Lagavulin 12

Lagavulin 12Lagavulin 12, non-chill filtered, 54.4% ABV. 2014 bottling.

After my last tasting, I wanted to explore another Islay whiskey. I have been reading about the Lagavulin 12, and the twice a year single malt sale was on at the local liquor store. So the time seemed appropriate to sieze the opportunity.

The nose is subtle. Not overpowering, but an intriguing mix of medicinal, iodine, elements with some vanilla and smoke.

On the palate, this whiskey is a little oliy or creamy, coating the mouth. There are hints of herbs and very subtle flavor notes of vanilla and pepper-like spice. There are the expected Islay elements with layers of iodine, seaweed, and smoke. The medicinal peat of this dram stays with you for a while. I read a review before I purchased this bottle, where the tasting note described it as a “jammy ashtray”. I did not find it to have as much sweetness, but in some ways it captures the complex profile of this whiskey.

I found the finish to be warm and long, particularly for a 12 year old. It is a dry finish.

This is a fun whiskey, and an interesting contrast to Lagavulin’s other offerings. While I do tend to favor Laugavulin 16, the 12 year old is produced at cask strength giving it a youthful aggressiveness and distinct finish. On the other hand, it is surprisingly priced higher that the Laugavulin 16. Apparently, this is a product of a market demand issue, with a much smaller distribution of Lagavulin 12.

If you like the peat, smoke, medicinal notes of Islay whiskeys, I suspect you would like this one.   It is a good balanced representation of the quality of 12 year aged single malts from Islay. You would find that other Islay expressions of similar age are likely to cost less.

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