Lagavulin 12 is a very popular Scotch on this site. Sadly, it’s also a very expensive one. Of the only 2 bottles I’ve ever owned, the 2010 was the last bottle in London (sold out in Toronto) and my friend refused to let me pay for it, and the 2015 was purchased for $3.50 after trading in a bottle of Fiddich 18 I was gifted by an in-law (he bought it cheaper in Calgary than I was credited for here…).
I’ve also been lucky enough to have friends with bottles and have been able to taste the 2011 which was excellent, and the 2014 which is the least exciting of the three I’ve tasted so far. Tonight I am cracking the sample I was given (well, allowed to pour is more accurate) by @Robert99 who very generously brought it all the way from Montréal. Merci beaucoup, mon ami.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I am comparing this to the 2015 edition reviewed here:
Smokey . A little mentholated citrus, the smell from a fresh tire skid. This is a dense nose. A peat lover’s nose. With water the nose is more syrupy. (22.5/25)
The 2013 has a slightly sweeter syrupy nose, and I get a hint of an over-ripe fruit.
Is WOW! a flavour? First sip is sweet, lemony, and full of peat, ash and smoke. Later on it becomes quite spirity on the arrival. But that first sip… oh my. Water helps it become more rounded and less spirity. (23/25)
The 2015 is a little more subdued on the arrival with a very rich development. It’s sweeter, with some pepper.
Ashy, very astringent, peppery. Long. Slightly smoother with water.
This is a peat monster, but it has depth, and the nose and palate complement each other. A little easier to drink and richer with a few drops of water. (23/25)
Score: Neat - 89 /100 With Water: 90.5/100
If you like peat, you will really like this one. Head to head I think I like the 2015 just a little more. I think it has a slight edge on complexity. This one seems to have more raw peat power.
A combination of the remaining 2013 and 2013 is successful.
Thanks again @Robert99!
@Nozinan There's a sample of another batch (2017?) waiting for you, the bottle has yet to be opened.
@MadSingleMalt If I bought the bottle outside of Ontario and was being asked why I was returning it to LCBO, what would I say? Kf I wasn't asked, obviously I wouldn't tell. So the potential is there for the need to say something that is not true, which to me is distasteful and to be avoided.
There is nothing untrue about saying you received something as a gift (if indeed you did), and omitting where that gift was purchased, because really, unless you saw the purchase made, how do I know it wasn't purchased in Ontario?
As to the 2014, of the 4 I have tried I would say it was my least favourite. Of course I did try it H2H with the 2011 which is one of my favourites.