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Lagavulin 12 Year Old / 17th Release / Special Releases 2017

...One More Laga

8 993

@talexanderReview by @talexander

19th May 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I have some of the 2017 Release of Lagavulin 12 Year Old - let's compare to the GoT 9 Year Old. Just for fun!

The colour is a very pale straw. Grassy on the nose with very sweet peat smoke, lemon curd, smoked salmon, fennel, arugula and a hint of Italian parsley. Underripe green grapes. Oyster shells. Perfect balance between the peat and herbs, with vanilla anchoring in the background.

Mouth-drying (then later, mouth-watering) on the palate, with kippers, tart lemon pith, more fennel, chili pepper and really tart green apple. Enormously complex though maybe a bit all over the place - but it has so much going on it is endlessly fascinating.

The finish is long with lemon pepper, toasty oak and brine. Amazing stuff - the annual 12 Year Old never disappoints. #4 in Whisky Advocate's Top 20 Whiskies of 2017, and Best Single Malt Scotch (11-15 Years, Multiple Casks) in Jim Murray's 2019 Whisky Bible. Next to the 9 Year Old? It is much lighter in colour than the 9, with much more lemon and fruit on the nose. Far less caramel than the 9. The 12 wins hands down, but let's face it, it usually beats everything else...

Related Lagavulin reviews


OdysseusUnbound commented

I haven’t had the Game of Thrones Lagavulin, but your assessment of the 12 is spot on. My favourite Lagavulin for sure.

4 years ago 0

MadSingleMalt commented

That Game of Thrones Lagavulin sucked.

4 years ago 0

Pierre_W commented

Indeed Lagavulin 12yo never disappoints. Many thanks for the lovely review.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

RikS commented

I haven't opened mine yet but.. This is enticing...

4 years ago 0

talexander commented

@MadSingleMalt I didn't think it sucked but it was slightly disappointing for a Lagavulin. I should have compared it to the 8 year old, which if memory serves is better than the 9.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

MadSingleMalt commented

@talexander, I agree with you on those relative merits of the 8 and GOT 9. This would be my ranking of the attainable Lagavulins:

  1. Lagavulin 12 is excellent.
  2. Lagavulin DE is pretty darn good.
  3. Lagavulin 16 is pretty darn good.
  4. Lagavulin 8 is OK.
  5. Lagavulin GOT 9 is bad. (Pass the Bowmore 12 instead, please.)

4 years ago 4Who liked this?

Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt many I expect are with you in your assessment, including me, absent any opinion on GOT 9 yo since I haven't tasted it. I would only add an asterisk for Lagavuilin 16, because some batches have been wretched.

I don't like Lagavulin 8 yo well enough to want a bottle of it. Drinkable enough? Sure. But I am just as happy with Islay Mist 8 yo at 1/4 the price. (Yes, Islay Mist is with Laphroaig, not Lagavulin.)

4 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

@talexander I have yet to open my bottle of the 2016 12 year old. I hope it's as good as the 2017. Excellent and very helpful review. I still have a 2016 version of the 8 year old too. That one doesn't sound quite as promising.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

talexander commented

Thank you! I quite like the 8 year old...but few can approach most of the 12s.

4 years ago 0

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