Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2017) (70cl, 56.5%)
The 15th incarnation of Lagavulin 12 in the Diageo Special Releases, a testament to the sheer likeability and complexity of this whisky. Its relative youth compared to the phenomenally popular Lagavulin 16 can be misleading: this Islay whisky is rewardingly diverse, with smoke and fruit melded into minerality. This cask-strength whisky has been created from refill American Oak hogsheads, each at least 12 years old.
Lagavulin distillery is one of the quintessential Islay producers, built in the early 19th century before eventually finding itself in the hands of White Horse blenders and their infamous proprietor, Sir Peter Mackie. It has truly captured the imagination of the whisky world in modern times, with the 16 year old becoming an instant (if unexpected) favourite when introduced as one of United Distillers' Classic Malts in 1988. The company had not expected the smoky flavours to be as popular as lighter offerings such as Dalwhinnie and Glenkinchie. Lagavulin was also home to the legendary (and near mythical) Malt Mill distillery in the first half of the 20th century.