Lagavulin 12 Year Diageo 2021 Special Release

Scotch Whisky Review #354: Lagavulin 12 Year Diageo 2021 Special Release

Distillery: Lagavulin.

Region: Islay.

Age: 12 Year.

ABV: 56.5%. Cask Strength.

Cask Type: Refill American oak casks.

Cost: Sample courtesy of /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH.

Color: 0.1, White Wine.

This is the 19th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the 2020 edition here and 2019 edition here.


Nose: Smoke, tons of it. It’s a sweet smokiness and there’s an insane amount of it. It’s almost as if someone is burning something right under your nose.

Palate: Much like the nose strongly suggests, it is quite smokey and sweet. The sweetness is definitely in the form of malted barley sugars and is incredibly intense. A bit of white pepper comes in towards the end to add a little spice to the smoke and sugar party. Adding some water here seems to do nothing other than diluting the whisky.

Finish: It is shorter than expected clocking in at a medium-to-short length. Again the dominant note here is of sweet smoke..


Conclusion: I don’t always find the official notes to be particularly helpful but it seems that this Lagavulin delivers on some of what the tin promises. I wouldn’t called it the “fiercest” whisky but it surely is one of the “smokiest” ones I’ve had in a while. From start to finish is a rolling sweet smoke that dominates. The sweetness seems to be largely in the form of malt barley, which I quite enjoy, however the two notes dominate so much that virtually nothing else shines through. This Lagavulin reminded me a lot of a very young Bunnahabhain I had once with how strong those malt barley notes were, just with the added bonus of smoke to go along with it. It isn’t bad by any means, just incredibly simple.

Final Score: 77.


Scotch Whisky Review #354, Islay Review #55, Whisky Network Review #504


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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