Lagavulin "2015 Edition" 12 Year Old Natural Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
As pale as you'd expect, this year’s Special Release ‘limited’ bottling has a sweet, bready softness to it making it less angular than previous expressions. The smoke comes across very gently, allowing the sweet grassiness of the spirit the upper hand until water is added. The palate stirs in some emulsion paint, a pleasing lift of sulfur and anise, and gradually deepens. With water there are more smoke and marine notes.
Lagavulin's string of 12-year-old releases has always begged the question from consumers: why is the 12 year old $40 more than the older 16-year expression? Good question! For one, the Lagavulin 16 is made in gigantic quantities and sold in every liquor store from San Francisco to Shanghai, making it a competitively priced product. On top of that, the 12 year old is bottled at cask strength and not produced in nearly as high of a volume. Fans of the distillery have long lusted for a higher-proofed version of their beloved Islay legend, and Diageo has sought to pacify that demand with the lovely 12-year expression. Tasting the 12 next to the 16, there's no doubt as to why one is more expensive than the other. Yet more proof that age can be incredibly deceiving.