Lagavulin 12 Years (Special Releases 2020)
Kicking of a week filled with reviews of the Diageo Special Releases 2020, is the annual release of the Lagavulin 12 Years Cask Strength. This series has been around since 2002 and has to qualify as one of the most consistently good (great even?) in the history of Scotch single malt.
And that’s coming from someone who rarely drinks heavily peated whiskies in his own time. Others (like Tom or Serge Valentin) are absolutely smitten with the Lagavulin year after year, so I’m sure they’d agree with my take.
This year’s Lagavulin 12 Years Cask Strength is wholly distilled in 2007 and matured in refill American oak casks (as I believe is always the case). The recommended retail price has gone up quite a bit to £125. Just a few years ago you could get it for about two-thirds of that price.
Lagavulin 12 Years (56.4%, OB, Special Releases 2020)
Nose: Lovely notes of nougat, grapefruit and a smouldering bonfire. There are some band aids as well, followed by tinned pineapple, pickled lemon, soft oak spices and a slight minerality. Also some green veggies. Outstanding!
Taste: Sweet arrival followed by tar, charcoal, ashes and subtle spicy notes. Some linseed oil, lemon, and green olives, finally some liquorice.
Finish: Drying, iodine, oak and black pepper. Finally a whiff of chocolate. Long.
Classically good, the Lagavulin 12 Years never disappoints. I suppose the high quality offsets the price hike, although it might still be tough to swallow for fans of the series.
More Diageo Special Releases 2020
Do you want to read more of my reviews of this year’s Diageo Special Releases? I’ve compiled a neat little list below. Enjoy!
- Pittyvaich 1989 30 Years
- Dalwhinnie 1989 30 Years
- Mortlach 1999 21 Years
- Talisker 2011 8 Years
- The Singleton 2002 17 Years
- Cragganmore 1999 20 Years
- Cardhu 2008 11 Years
Sample provided by Diageo
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.