Whisky Connosr

Lagavulin 12 Year Old bottled 2012 12th Release

Laph CS 5 v Laga 12 . 2012

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@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

31st May 2014


Lagavulin 12 Year Old bottled 2012 12th Release
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I had been meaning to put two hard hitters against each other for a while now but never got around to doing it. But tonight I had the house all to my self and figured I had no excuses.

For this epic heads up battle I chose two of my favorite cask strength whiskies from Islay: The Laphroaig Cask Strength Batch 005 and the Lagavulin 12 - 2012.

Individually they both score very high on my scale but I had never had them side to side so I never really knew which one I liked better.

Lagavulin 12 . 2012 / 56.1%

Nose: Peat butter. Smoke. Red apples. Sour (like tamarind). Lots of greens. Sharp acid like lemon citrus. Ash

Palate: Fiery peppers. Apricot. Pineapple sponge cake. Peat. Smoke. Fresh greens. Cucumber.

Finish: Long. Mint. Spice.

Nose: 22 | Palate: 23 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 22 | Rating: 90

Laphroaig Cask Strength Batch 005 / 57.2%

Nose: Sweet. Honey. Jam. Maple. Cardboard. Red sweets. Coca Cola. Cherry licorice. Caramel. Hint of peat. Iodine.

Palate: Cherries. Black pepper. Bitter chocolate. Peat. All spice. Burnt jam. Oak.

Finish: Long. Spicy. Dark chocolate. Iodine.

Nose: 23 | Palate: 23 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 92

So here's the verdict.

While the Lagavulin 12 is a quality dram the Laphroaig just manages to edge past in the nose and the overall balance of the dram. It is just that much more flavorful with hints of exotic.

The Lagavulin is raw power while the Laphroaig much easier to drink even though it's at a higher ABV. And for me that tips the scales in it's balance.

Definitely a very enjoyable match up!

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Nock commented

I love the head-to-head comparison. Thank you for the review! I personally find that I get the most out of a whisky when I put it up against others - whether to compare similarities or to contrast differences. I haven't tried the Lagavulin 12yo (2012), but I did a similar comparison recently between the Laphroaig 10yo CS 005, Lagavulin 12yo (2010), and the Ardbeg Corryvreckan.

The Ardbeg aside, my findings are similar to yours. I think the Lagavulin is still rough around the edges at 12 years while the Laphroaig is much more balanced and easy drinking - even at a higher proof.

Thanks again for the excellent review

10 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

Thanks @Nock ! Appreciate the kind words. I've had the 2010 Laga and it's very similar in profile to the 2013 CS. So I'm guessing you'd end up with a similar result as mine.

The Corry seems to be the odd one out in this matchup.

I just got the Laph Batch 006 and the Laga 2013 CS --- that's my next matchup but I'm expecting similar findings.

10 years ago 0

Nock commented

Batch 006 you say??? Please hear a strong friendly request for tasting notes as soon as you are able. I will be looking for it on shelves before too long here . . . and I just want to know if should plan on a "double pounce" or not.

10 years ago 0