Back in 2008 this whisky was released. Apparently the release was kind of a mess, since the price at which is became available was completely wrong initially. As in, while the RRP was set to some € 80, the first couple of cases were sold at just over half that. Luckily, I managed to get myself a couple of bottles, and some friends bought some too.
Back then there was still a Friends of the Classic Malts series. I’m not entirely sure when it stopped, but I do know that after this one there has been a Clynelish, and there’s been a Cragganmore but that might have been released earlier. Anyway, I’ve not seen a new one in The Netherlands for quite a couple of years. It was interesting though. A slightly different take on Diageo’s standard bottling of said distillery. I remember the Clynelish, Talisker and this one too.
Add to that that Lagavulin is one of my favorite whiskies and this one is a winner. Especially since I bought it at half price. That’s always good.
Rather typical of Lagavulin with a strong hint of thick wood smoke, more that than peaty. Also, there’s a hint of orange and Lapsang Souchong tea. The sherry influence is quite a bit stronger than in the normal 16 year old. It’s more on par with the Distiller’s Edition. The spirit is still recognizable, but there’s also a hint of wood.
Strong, peaty, still quite young but also a strong oak influence. It wouldn’t surprise me if there have been some quarter casks in the mix or so. Orange and mandarin, peat, slightly salty. Quite delicious.
The finish gets even more fierce. The 48% is recognizable. As in, you feel it’s stronger than the regular 43%. It’s fairly long and the burning wood, peat and smoke notes are strongest. The orange and tea are still there, but subdued.
This, actually, is a gorgeous dram. While it now costs some £ 250 at TWE I would understand this being a hundred bucks nowadays. After looking it up at Whiskybase, I found that it’s still available in The Netherlands for some € 120. Prices vary, to say the least.
Apart from it being gorgeous, this was a fun release. It shows a slight variation on the rather one dimensional Lagavulin theme. Gorgeous whisky, just was standard release and the rest is premium. They’ve just tweaked this one enough to be interesting (younger, more spirity, stronger and more sherry).
The flavors are gorgeous, albeit not overly complex, but I generally don’t expect mountains of depth and complexity from a twelve year old. This one does what you expect it to do. And it does it well. Now, I’m off to finish the bottle.
Lagavulin 12, Friends of the Classic Malts, 1995-2008, 48%. Prices vary wildly so check Whiskybase.