Special Releases 2016, Lagavulin 12yo

door | november 9, 2020
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Five down, five to go. The Special Releases 2016 series consists of ten different whisky’s and we’ve already reviewed half. Today we start with the first whisky of the second half. This time the Lagavulin 12yo fills our Glencairn.


Lagavulin is one of the great distillery’s on Islay. The Lagavulin distillery is situated on the south coast of the Island. It was founded in 1816 by John Johnston and therefore it celebrated it’s 200th birthday in 2016. A very nice 8yo edition was launched as well as a 25yo edition. Unfortunately we didn’t get the change to taste that one yet… This 12yo also has the “200th anniversary” on its label.

Of course we’ve tasted different batches of the standard 16yo bottling. The most special one was when we were in Scotland in 2014. Then we tasted a 16yo Lagavulin that had been opened at least ten years before that. That really was a special experience. I remember that taste to be very different from the current batches. I can’t remember if I’ve ever tasted a cask strength Lagavulin so I’m very curious about that. 

Lagavulin is almost a regular part of the Special Releases and earlier editions have won several gold medals. Then again, so have the standard 16yo and the Distillers Edition. You could say Lagavulin just has a high standard. Let’s see how this bottle fits this high standard.

A selection of refill American hogsheads with a minimum age of 12 years, was chosen to create this specific whisky. It’s not a vintage whisky and the total (limited) amount of bottles isn’t stated. As all Special Releases it’s unchillfiltered, no artificial colouring took place and it was bottled at cask strength with an ABV of 57,7%

Notes by Peter

  • Nose: Peatsmoke, potting soil, a bit leather and some vanilla.
  • Taste: Again nice peated! meat/bacon, barley and a bit citrus fruit and caramel.
  • Finish: Medium long with barley, smoke and sweetness.

I really enjoyed this well balanced single malt! It doesn’t need water in my opinion. Well done!

Notes by Jeroen

  • Nose: Subtle smokyness, fresh and fruity as well. Some banana, some vanilla. Lemon and a fresh scent of mint.
  • Taste: Of course more smoke here but well balanced. A bit meaty like smoked ham. Some grassy notes. Mint and lemon.
  • Finish: Nice and warming. Subtle smoke and minty freshness with some hints of lemon.

A fine example of what Lagavulin stands for. Quite affordable too.

Diageo Netherlands thanks again! 

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