Bold and Beautiful: Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength (2012)

Lagavulin has every right to serve their whisky in a dark green bottle. Why? To save us from ourselves and our ridiculous biases, that’s why. I will admit that, conditional on knowing that a whisky hasn’t been artificially coloured, I’ll look at any darker whisky within its own class (that is, bourbon cask, sherried, etc,)  and say, “well, the darker whisky will be more flavourful!” I know this is wrong, so you don’t have to chastise me for it. But still, it’s something I’m subject to, on occasion, even subconsciously. Lagavulin 12 looks like a chardonnay. 12 years in the wood, cask-strength, and it looks paler than the 6 year Bruichladdich Barley. But it’s so much more. Easily as big as Laphroaig’s QC, and more complex than Caol Ila’s CS (at least to this nose and palate). Book, cover, yada yada yada.

Nose: Coal, tar, salt, brine, caramel, honey. Peat is quite understated. Anise and tangy BBQ sauce (hickory plus worcestershire). Wood fires.

Palate: Super oily. Coal smoke, wood-fired pickles. Peat, lemon, caramel, fudge. Barbeque sauce.

Finish: Medium-long. Peaty, creamy dill pickle chips. Drying.

Grade: A-

Simply great whisky. Perhaps a little pricey, but we need to treat ourselves sometimes.

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