The yearly Diageo Special Release of Lagavulin 12 Year Old is always a treat, and 2019 does not disappoint. You've got the classic Islay smoke, you've got fruit, you've got a pinch of sea salt - and this year, you've got a bird of prey on the label! This isn't simply because birds of prey are cool (though they are), it's because the overarching theme of the Special Release 2019 series is 'Rare by Nature'.
Nose: Everything you would expect from the annual Lagavulin 12 Year Old. Sweet peat smoke like a recently extinguished bonfire accompanied by memories of sparklers on 5th November. Salty sea breeze, shellfish and seaweed. Tangy fruity aroma, like Bramley Apples ready for a homemade apple pie. Add a little water and you get freshly cut wet grass and autumn leaves after a downpour.
Palate: Citrusy, spicy and smoky. Like taking a drag on your Grandad’s cigar. Intense ashes to start, smooth in texture with a warm finish. Being at natural strength allows the water to not diminish the character.
Finish: A nice warming sweet smoke with lemony tones. A dash of salt through the smoke.