Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2013), 55.1%

Price: $119 Issue: Spring 2014 Reviewer: Dave Broom

Though as pale as ever, this Lagavulin is hardly in need of a Charles Atlas course. The nose is ozonic, like rock pools at low tide with kelp splattered around. Sweetness comes in the form of cloudy apple juice and a smokehouse kipperiness. The palate is explosive, with masses of retronasal action showing violet root, thyme, juniper, tarragon/fennel, and a finish akin to smoked cheese. An improvement on the 2012 release.