Lagavulin 12 Year Old is part of Diageo’s 2015 Special Releases. The colour is light yellowish gold, a hair darker than the 8 year old. On the nose there is fresh sea breeze, grass clippings, prosciutto, eucalyptus and very light lemon pith. Sweet barley sugar, with very lightly toasted oak. Wet smoldering campfire. With water we get more of that fresh sea breeze, and more peat. Subtle and very complex.
On the palate it’s a full-blown peat freak, mouth-drying with tons of brine, lemon pith, and herbs (mint and sage). Very light milk chocolate. Hint of raspberry. Medicinal. With water it’s even better: oiler, peppery and peatier. Overall, much fruitier than expected, absolutely fantastic.
The finish has citrus, black licorice, raspberries and candied almonds. This is fantastic – strong, peaty, fruity and really makes your mouth come alive. Has the subtlety the 8 year old lacks, but the freshness that lifts it to the level of complexity that the 16 year old proudly presents.