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Lagavulin 12 Year Old bottled 2010 10th Release

Average score from 6 reviews and 26 ratings 92

Lagavulin 12 Year Old bottled 2010 10th Release

Product details

  • Brand: Lagavulin
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 56.5%
  • Age: 12 year old
  • Bottled: 2010

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Lagavulin 12 Year Old bottled 2010 10th Release

I love Lagavulin 16 and their distillers edition so what are the chances I wont like this?

The classic Lagavulin flavour profiles that make it a marmite whisky. Love it or loathe it you cannot mistake it.

The nose is wonderful, soft yet powerful. smoke, salt, brine, peat, sweetness. Palate - Huge rolling flavours which match the nose. Sea salt, smoke, peat, sweetness but beautifully matched. The finish lasts for ever, long and incredibly smoky like a bonfire.

If you havent tried it then look out for this one.

Survey question for the class, which I'll toss out here just 'cause it's the most current Lag 12 review:

How much would you pay for Lag 12 2012?

There's one gathering dust on the shelf of a local grocery store—not a liquor store or anything, just small-town grocer with an otherwise uninspiring whisky selection. It's tagged $109 and I've been thinking of offering the liquor dept manager $80 to take of off his hands.

Any opinions? I had the 2014 and liked it mucho, but not $109 mucho. I understand that the 2012 is near the bottom of most Lag 12 fans' lists—but even so, isn't that like your least-favorite kid? You still love him, right?

Yes, there is a lot to love with 2010 release Lagavulin 12, though there are probably not many bottles of the 2010 release floating around unsold at this point. 2010 Lag 12 would make a great desert island choice.


Lagavullin 12 year old cask strength special release 2013. We did this parallel to the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 additions.

I will keep this short. It’s absolutely phenomenal. I mean truly. All of the various years are good but nothing comes near to the 2013. I’m totally with Serge from Whiskyfun with this (and I'm not always aligned with Serge).

As soon as you nose it, you just know it’s going to be great. Sweet vanilla and some kind of spicy fudge develops into the perfect pinpoint Lagavulin smell of peat, tcp (antiseptic), burnt seashells, flint, earth and lovely ginsengginger combination. So big and so good. The taste is stunning, led by the sweetness traveling through all the flavors on the nose and finishing on grapefruit. The grapefruit is really delightful especially as you never get it on the nose (sorry if I spoiled the surprise for anyone). Neat is great (55% abv) and so is a drop of water if required. We had 6 bottles at a small tasting and there wasn’t a drop left at the end of the night. One of the panel who has experience with the famous 37 year old said ‘The 37 is great, but considering I could buy a few bottles of the 2013 for the same price - it’s a no brainer’.

So would I recommend for the price. Totally. Of course it’s pricey for 12 year old, but in this case you get what you pay for (which sadly is not always the case).

Do you feel good after a few drams? For sure, we found there is a noticeable light euphoric effect. Puts a light bounce in your step. God it’s good (for both breakfast, lunch and dinner).

I would love to score this even higher than 94, but it is pricey for a 12 year old.


Lagavulin 12yo CS 56.5% OB, bottled in 2010 (L0112CM000 01666951) gift from my wife on Valentine’s Day 2011: opened 10/10/2012

This bottle has scored all over the map for me. On the night I first opened the bottle is scored very highly. And ever since then the scores have been on the decline. Personally, I don’t think the bottle changed that much. I think the variation in the score had to do with what I tasted against. Here is a compilation of several tasting notes:

Nose: Starts very coy and shy. Soft fumes on a hot day kind of thing. With time the peat really starts to grow. Very different from the 16yo: this one has none of the rich velvet or mellow smoothness; rather, it is a high tone peat attack. I am now picking up on what I am calling woodsy peat. Obviously, it shares with the 16yo the same peat tonal characteristics. Now comes strong lemon and citrus notes with ocean waves behind it. The sweetness is on a different tonal frequency then the 16yo. This is much higher pitched and closer to Ardbeg then the Lag 16. Now, fresh wood chips, Clementine oranges, and limes, then it becomes very antiseptic with ash from a bonfire. With more time it gets much more mossy with seaweed and decomposing vegetation. But given all this complexity is seems surprisingly unrefined. I guess that is the nature of casks strength? This is one I wonder what water would do . . . maybe we will find out later. With water this baby really open up and drops down in tone to a baritone. Truly astounding. Much more like the 16yo then I would have expected. The peat is now super strong and punishing with wood and seaweed in the background. Now there is that hint of astringency and iodine that I love. Actually better with a little water (I don’t often say that).

Taste: Much sweeter then the 16yo and lighter as well. A healthy dollop of peat and a growing fire of sea salt, but nothing bitter or off. Dirty and dry up front; almost dusty peat. A bit of leather and woody vegetation start to grow with the salt. With water there is much more wood and oak apparent.

Finish: Huge wave of peat fire (my kind of finish). It almost peals the paint off your face. Acid peat eats at your mouth. Tons of that seaweed and decomposing vegetation linger as do the wood chips. A huge ash cloud envelops your mouth. Very nice lovely finish with tons of power. As the peat tapers off you are left with hints of leather, tire, coal, oak, and salty seaweed. Having tasted this next to Laphroaig 10yo CS batch 004 and Corryvreckan this is easily the most smoky finish of the three.

Complexity, Balance: Not as complex or as balanced as the 16yo: no surprise that next to its older brother this is an immature bruiser. The younger age and significantly higher ABV make this a youthful ruffian. The nose and taste are not as balanced with the finish as I would suggest is appropriate. Further, it also doesn’t have the balance of the Corry or the Laphroaig 10yo CS 004. I am actually prefer the Lag 16 over this in the complexity and balance category.

Aesthetic experience: Love this bottle shape and the continued use of the Lagavulin cork seal. I do appreciate the redistribution of the age information to the smaller sticker . . . however . . . it doesn’t looks as classic as the original 16 year old. Still, the healthy 56.5% makes me very happy indeed. But the bourbon matured does leave this spirit very light. All in all very lovely.

Conclusion: I really like this bottle, and I am very glad it has been in regular release. That said, next to the Ardbeg Corry and Laphroaig 10yo CS batches this doesn’t quite have the “it” I am looking for. My enjoyment of this bottle has changed quite a bit of the past year. When I first opened it I scored near a 95. I think my enthusiasm for this bottle might have colored my early score. The next time I scored it a 91 and then a 92. My last score put it up against Corry and Laphroaig 10yo CS and the score suffered in comparison earning only 89. I personally don’t usually see my scores vary this greatly with a bottle. But what can a guy do? Be honest about it I guess. I have to believe that this bottle stacks up well against some bottles and not so great against others (for me). I think the average is a fair number for this bottle. 92

For me I would take a good batch over Lagavulin 16 over this. But that is just me


The reviewed bottle has been open for 2 years. It was preserved with gas for the last 11 months.

Nose: strong, beautiful, sweet, soft, fragrant peat and smoke, high-pitched confectioner's sugar, grassy and citrusy high-pitched malt; wood only in the background. Fantastic quality, up there with Bruichladdich Octomore quality

Taste: the translation to the palate is excellent, with additional sweetness on the palate, especially with a long-open bottle. Superb malt

Finish: long and beautiful; every element holds up

Balance: Cask Strength allows the full power of a whisky to shine. Those who are not averse to the Big Flavours of the pure undiluted whisky welcome the full intensity of those flavours. I am one of those Big Flavours Club Guys. I've had excellent Lagavulin 16 YO, but not for 2 or 3 years now. If you want the High Test standard Lagavulin, this is it, the 12 YO Cask Strength. The 2010 Release Year was an excellent release year for the Lagavulin 12 YO. I highly recommend it

@Taco, thanks for your comments. I have tasted the 2012, and I did also find that it had lost quite a few volts of power compared to the 2010. It was a rather mild experience by comparison. I haven't tasted the 2011 yet, but I am happily sitting on an unopened bottle of it for later enjoyment.

@Benancio, good to see you back on Connosr!

@Taco, @Benancio, There will be a 2013 release of Lagavulin 12 YO to look forward to before long. Hopefully it will return to the form of the 2010 and the 2011 releases.

Great news! (for me)

I checked my bottle of Lag 12 and it's the 2010 bottling!!!

I almost didn't get it. When I read about it (must have been in 2011 or early 2012) I knew nothing about batch variations. There was none left in Toronto and I got a teetotalling friend to pick up what I think was the last bottle in London Ontario. And the best thing was, he ended up refusing to let me pay for it! Now THAT's a steal of a deal.

I did get to try the 2011 and 2014 at @talexander's (thanks) and liked the 2011 better. I'm looking forward to the day I open up this beauty.


This is the first Lagavulin review I've written - and the first bottle of Lagavulin I've every purchased and opened! (I've tasted the 16 year old at bars, and the 1995 DE at Via Allegro - and I bought a couple of bottles to invest in - but never to drink!)

Lagavulin is one of the best selling single malts in Scotland (less than 15% of the malt is left for blends - the rest are sold as single malt). But it didn't really become a huge seller until it became a "Classic Malt" in 1988 and was marketed as such.

The 12 Year Old is a limited annual release - this bottle is the 10th release, bottled in 2010. It is cask strengh.

The colour is light hay with yellow highlights - I would presume it is not coloured but it doesn't say on the packaging. On the nose, dry hay, sweet malt, sawdust, light brown sugar, and light peat smoke. Water tames the alcohol and brings out the maltiness.

The palate is sweeter than the nose, light honey with a burst of peat, some caramel and lemon juice. Tangy and fuller bodied somehow than the 16 year old (which seems counter-intuitive, despite the cask strength bottling). Creamier and tangier with water. A very interesting and provocative combination of sweet and tart. Love it!

The finish is long, with lingering peat and a light hint of caramel. Long but light and not overpowering as you might expect. This is a fantastic whisky, quite different from the 16 year old - younger (in a good way), more robust but also wilder and less balanced. It's an explosion of flavour in your mouth, very exciting and vibrant. If, like Ron Swanson, you love your Lagavulin 16 - if you are getting a little tired of it, jazz it up once in a while with this one, then go back to the 16 you love. It's like having a fling with your wife's younger sister!

Thank you for a nice review, @talexander. Lagavulin 12 2010 Release is indeed fantastic whisky, especially for the big flavours lovers. I am a huge fan of it. When my current bottle of Lagavulin 16 seems a little too tame on the peat, I reach for the 12 to perk me up. Lagavulin 12 is like drinking double espresso first thing in the morning. It reminds you that a therapeutic dose of stimulus is at hand.

Unfortunately, the 12 year old isn't available in Washington state, but I was able to sample it at a whisky tasting this past fall. It was my favorite of the night!

My wife and I are going to San Francisco is a few weeks and my favorite whisky shop there has the Lagavulin 12 on their website. My wife has already offered to buy a bottle for me on that trip as a belated birthday present. If the whisky shop still has it, this is the bottle I plan to pick up!


Nose: Burning peat, cayenne pepper, sweet and spicy chipotle peppers, salted pork skins with the fat attached, charred lemons, a raging campfire, heavily smoked fish, buttered burnt toast. Water brings out more medicinal qualities.

Taste: Very peaty, smoke, green tea, olive oil, sea water, limes coated in sea salt, charred and smoking mesquite wood chips.

Finish: The peat remains at the front with salted pretzels and charcoal.

Wow, what a great 12 year old. I absolutely adore the sweet and spicy barbecue notes. It's not barbecue sauce, but rather the wood and spices of a barbecue (chipotle peppers, and mesquite wood). That with the peat makes for a great, complex whisky.

Personally, I think this is a lot better than the 16 year old. Let the yelling and throwing of vegetables begin.

@Dellnola, I just tasted my first bottle of Lagavulin 12 (10th release) last night. It is quite excellent. It IS better than my current bottle of Lagavulin 16 by far, both much much stronger and more fragrant nose and nice intense non-diluted palatal flavours. I have had Lagavulin 16 samples from other bottles which approached this quality, though, which is in itself remarkable by virtue of the diluted ABV. They do vary from year to year, batch to batch, and even within a given run.

Hey PositBGH, can you pick me up a couple of bottles of this at $ 55 each? That is some deal.

It's not that easy to find, so snatch it when you see it. Of course, you may live in an area with a better selection. Oddly enough, I didn't find this in any of the specialist shops in my area, but in a small town wine shop with a bottle of Glenlivet 12, Glenfiddich 12, Glenmorangie 10, and a random, lonely bottle of Lagavulin 12 year old 2010 as their entire single malt section.

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