So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Lagavulin 12 yo 2014 Special Release, 54.4%

This Lagavulin features in every Diageo special release as an affordable entry level bottle. 2014 saw both a 12 yo cask strength and a 37 year old, that’s 2 Lagavulins in one release, except that the latter is far from affordable.

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I have been to Lagavulin twice now, and I am sure there will be a third time. Anyone thinking of visiting should certainly book ahead for the special warehouse tasting by legendary Iain McArthur, who has spent 42 years working for the distillery. Also bring sample bottles! You will try 8 generous pours of various ages culminating in this:


And by the time I got to it I am ashamed to say my palate was not sufficiently fresh to appreciate it completely.

No photos allowed in the stillhouse but I sneaked a couple from as close as I could. Look at those neckless onion shaped spirit stills! How little reflux it encourages, but it is run slowly with low heat to try to add more reflux. It has certainly succeeded in making a fine spirit.



Also, the famed Malt Mill once operated on Lagavulin’s premises, this is as close as I got to tasting its new make:


lagavulin 2014(photo credit: whiskyexchange)



Nose  Nose: Big brutal Lagavulin in all its peaty, martime glory, and without the sweetness of sherry, you get to pick a little deeper into its DNA. And it is purebred Lagavulin: a wreath of bunched herbs and linoleum strips on a rubber tyre frame set alight; earthy, oily and dirty in parts, but magnificent in whole. This one is also rather ashy and its cereal core is detectable, but all in all broader and more ‘magnified’ than the 2011 which was sharper, leaner and greener.

Taste  Palate: Very Lagavulin. Peat, swiss chard green bitterness followed by a whole earthy herb garden on fire, smoked wetsuits, dried salted lemon, a whole array of maritime flavours, as the nose suggests. It has complexity and breadth, and astounding presence. Drier than the regular 16 too.

Finish  Finish: Ash, aftertaste of something smoked, withered grass, solvent.



What’s missing? Nothing really, just more depth would be great. Make it a 16 year old cask strength and it’s whisky I would be happy to be marooned with. Oh water? pfft.. what this whisky needs is air.



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This entry was posted on May 11, 2015 by in Lagavulin and tagged .
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