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This is a bottle I have had open for approx. 8 months now and just reaching the end of it. Notes are all with just a few drops of water, but still keeping the abv high.
It is a much lighter coloured malt than the 16yo, thereby slightly more reassuring that there is no colouring in it.
Nose: This is more on the peaty rather than smokey side when compared to the 16yo. It has a prominent dry saltiness about it but tempered with a strong layer of sweetness. Notes of salty liquorice before it opens up revealing more traditional medicinal and seaweed hints. It's actually fairly close to a Laphroaig profile.
Palate: More of the same on the palate. A massive hit of salty peat, with seaweed layered throughout. But it also has a fairly thick sweetness too, which kind of makes it reminiscent of salty caramel. It evolves into more of a smokey sweet dram over time.
Finish: As expected very dry, with alternating sweet/bitter hints that linger.
The 16yo is smoother and more restrained. This is more of a powerful bruiser. It's a decent hitter and a cask strength Lagavulin is always welcome.
The price however - I paid about £60-odd earlier this year which I thought was a bit on the high side. I've just checked the 2014 edition which is now at £80! Personally I think that is vastly overpriced for a 12yo whisky. Perhaps I'm behind the times with current prices, but £50-£55 would seem much fairer. This being the main area it has lost points in.