Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2020) Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
Tasting note: [15ml sample] While the nose is perhaps marginally less effusive than previous releases, the palate maintains historical form. Baked citrus and wood smoke melt into thick, creamy malt. Loads of vibrant coastal character with a little extra oaky sweetness: Salted caramel chocolate and menthol blend with smouldering eucalyptus, iodine and seashore. A complex of ashy, peppery, maritime notes carries the salt-laced finish. Not the most rugged and emphatic Laga' of all time, but as always, extremely good. 56.4% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
Other reviews... Sweet woodsmoke, peat embers, Jaffa oranges, new leather, sea salt, and cigarette smoke on the nose. Orange carries over onto the robust palate, with quite pronounced smokiness, black pepper, and dark chocolate. Long and peppery in the finish, with lingering smoke and brine.
93 points - whiskyadvocate.com
...Colour: pale white wine. Nose: ultra-precise, millimetric, vertical and pure at first, and perhaps not as boldly smoky as expected. There is ‘visiting the maltings’ though, but what I’m really getting is seawater, iodine, grapefruit juice and tangerines. One olive and some Barbour grease. The owners say it’s sweeter than last year’s and they may be right. With water: big fresh citrus, more lemons than oranges. Mouth (neat): fab, not extremely complex, but very extremely good in my opinion. Crushed olives, smoked almonds, avocado juice, lime juice, almond milk, citrons, a feeling of fumes, ashes, olive oil… Not too sure it’s that sweet having said that. The first time I’ve heard someone telling us that Lagavulin was very sweet that was while we were visiting the distillery, around Y2K. It was Pinkie (50 years in the industry this year!) and so after having listened to him we quaffed all our glasses – they were still pouring the 1970s - as if it was orange juice. It was the first and last time I walked out of a tasting room rearward… With water: excellent. Seawater, lemon juice, olive oil, lapsang souchong. More or less… Finish: long, a notch drier, smokier, and very ashy. The aftertaste is even ashier. Comments: so Lagavulin or Talisker this year? Both are superb, but I think I’m a tad more in favour of purity, and this Lagavulin is a little purer, I think. 91 points - whiskyfun.com