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Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2020)

(70cl, 56.4%)

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2020)

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Lagavulin 12yo (SR 2020) Bottling Note

Once again, Diageo has released a marvellous 12 year old Lagavulin single malt as part of its Special Releases series. The 2020 Special Releases Lagavulin 12 Year Old was aged in refill American oak casks, and packs plenty of smoky notes, though there's also a good helping of boiled sweetie and sweet spices in there too...

Find out more about the rest of the Special Releases 2020 over on our blog!

View more Special Releases right here!

Consider this similar product...

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Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: A gently ashy Lagavulin expression, bolstered by pear drop boiled sweets, an iodine brine, orange oil and and a grassiness. Wafts of smoke become more prominent with time in the glass and a drop of water.

Palate: A medium-weight dram, on the palate the expression is sweeter than you'd expect from the nose, and the smoke is more pronounced, too. The pear becomes fresher and the orange more zesty, along with a gentle earthiness.

Finish: Medium-long and drying, with waft after waft of that seaside smoke.

Overall: Lagavulin with a delectable twist!

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Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2020) Reviews

Intense in smell and taste - excellent

Smokier taste than the smell, hints of peat and fruits. Smooth. Spectacular for sipping after a long day.

20th July 2021


I had two drinks the other day and it's some of the best top shelf scotch you can get. This stuff never disappoints. It's a bit strong on the alcohol, but it's known for this feature. A little goes a long way. Sipping material..

22nd January 2021

Smoky and coastal, but too high price.

I´ve tasted only Lagavulin 16 before, usually I drink peat monsters like Laphroaig or Ardbeg ...or Caol Ila 12, which I wouldn´t call a monster. Maybe Lagavulin 16 was a bit too sophisticated for me, but this release is different.

I think that this belongs to the same category than, for example Caol Ila 12, but as a cask strenght release, with 56,4 ABV, it has more body. Still, Caol Ila 12 doesn´t feel thin with the 43 ABV, in comparison with this release. Biggest difference is that this lacks the characteristic chalky and vinegary ashiness of Caol Ila, something you possibly learn to like over time. But that´s enough about Caol Ila.

Lagavulin 12 is smoky, and especially without added water, a bit oily and sweet. What I like in this, is that it´s not overwhelmingly sweet, as many modern whiskies tend to be. Very, very coastal, without going too much in the details. Even with the 56 ABV, it feels fresh and light, but absolutely not weak, and alcohol doesn´t feel overpowering. Water improves especially nose, after a small experimentation, I found out that teaspoon in a 4cl, was best for my taste. But try yourself, this whisky takes water very well, as you should expect with the cask strenght.

I must say that this is my new favourite, strong, balanced and complex whisky. Nothing dominates too much. I like it more than 16, but that´s the matter of taste. Only because of the high price, I will give it 4 stars. Still, I´m definitely waiting for the 2021 release.

6th October 2020

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