For many years, Lagavulin 12-year old has been a fixture among Diageo's yearly special releases. The 2016 edition was released in the same year the distillery celebrated its 200th anniversary. The exact outturn was not disclosed, so I suppose it must have been a lot.
The nose begins with subdued smoke before distinct vanilla and fudge flavours kick in. Then there is smoked ham, followed by waxy and malty notes, and a touch of lemons.
The palate is medium-bodied, lightly spicy and oily. The smoke is quite heavy and tarry now, and in addition I got notes of smoked ham, lemons, and roasted almonds, followed by ginger and white pepper.
The finish is long, smoky, and tarry. Notes of cigars and white pepper last to the very end.
I have always been a fan of the regular releases of Lagavulin 12-year old. In particular, I enjoy the farmy character of the nose that in comparison with some of the previous releases is not so prominent here. Instead, smoke and tarr are more dominant. This is an excellent single malt, however less smoke and more barley/cereal flavours would have pushed this even higher up in my book.