Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5
Nose: Wow. I feel like I've inadvertently found myself in the engine compartment of a locomotive steam train. Massive hit of coal and smoke. Quite strangely though the train driver seems to be frying bananas on the firebox, giving a sweet aroma to the air that is as intoxicating as the smoke. One can't help as well to be awed by the power of this steam train (56.4% no less) as it glides effortlessly through the air, this really is deluxe rail travel as it once was. 2.5
Taste: Phenomenally smooth and oily. The smoke and coal on the nose may give a robust impression, however on the tongue it's all caresses and sweetness. The coal-fire has died down, and there are now only subtle dying wafts of peat remaining, allowing us to savour the sweet orange and vanilla without the hinderance of smoke. The Lagavulin 16 may be my long time love, however I now find myself in the awkward situation of being quite smitten by her younger and more vivacious sister. 2.5
Finish: Those fried bananas back on the firebox have tweaked my sweet tooth, and here it is quite quickly satisfied. The coal-fire is running low and the train's slowed down for while on the long and smooth straight track, just so we can savour some orange flavoured creme brulee, with a little honeycomb ice-cream on the side. Glorious. And much deserved I'd say. If only we could savour it for a little while longer though, as desert time is cut shorter than we'd like. Oh well, time to get up and face the coal fire again, it's back to full steam ahead. 2.0
Balance: It's as I get up though, savouring that hurried last drop of melted honeycomb ice-cream, that I come to my senses and realise why the Lagavulin 16 is the one I truly love. The Lagavulin 12 may be exhilarating with her strong and coal-fiery exterior, and intoxicating with her sweet and even floral touch, however like the steam train she is also fleeting, but perhaps that's also part of the wonder. Intoxicating she remains though, and when her sister isn't looking I still like to have a dance with her now and then. 2.0
I like this review - good work OJK - and I really like the sound of this whisky!
Thanks a lot Piero, I can definitely recommend it, in hindsight I think it may not have been fair comparing it to the lagavulin 16 - the lagavulin 12 is absolutely fantastic whisky in its own right