Just realized how few of the Lag 12 CS releases we’ve actually looked at here on ATW and kinda feeling a bit of shame right now. This is definitely a release worth following year upon year. Buying it, however, has gotten harder and harder. Not for lack of availability, but because of sky high pricing locally. Over the past couple of years we’ve gone from about $120 up to nearly $180. Ouch.
But old man grumblings aside (“back in my day, we could buy Lagavulin 12 for…”) this is a really good malt. Some of the 12s have seemed a little thin in recent years, almost one-trick-ponies in a sense. This 2015 limited release, however, has a little more to it than initially meets the eye. It needs a bit of time to develop in the glass, but allowing the clock to tick away long enough for the fruits and soft vanilla notes to come forth is well worth it.
I know there has been mention for a couple years now of declining quality of Lagavulin (especially as it relates to the 16 year old), but as I’ve said before, I haven’t really bought into that camp. The 12 year old annual outturn merits a slightly different narrative, however, in that is batch-released and maybe isn’t targeted for the same sort of consistency the 16 is. Ergo, a bit of a game of chance with each successive release. So be it. The quality is fairly consistently high, if not consistent in exact profile.
This is the most recent of the 12s I’ve tried. Now let’s see if I can’t get my hands on the more recent ones (and maybe a couple older ones too).
Nose: Warm rubber. Dry earth. Wet smoke. Oily vanilla. Red, black and green ju-jubes. Citrus. Brine. A whiff of red berries. A touch of orange zest. Key lime pie. An over-torched crème brulee.
Palate: Over-toasted notes. Salt licorice. Oversteeped Lapsang Souchong tea. Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. Boiled greens. Lemon. Rather herbaceous as it develops. Granny Smith apple skins. Cinnamon-flavoured tooth picks. Earthy peat and waves of smoke go without saying.
Thoughts: Juicier than expected. Multi-dimensional. Nice smashing together of fruit and phenols.
– Image and words: Curt