14th SpRel 2016, refill am hgsh
Score: 92p (N: 22 T: 24 A: 23 C: 23)
Surprisingly ingenious version of 12-year Lagavulin. As sweet as always but fruit livelier than ever and the peatiness is insightful in a way only found in the 16-year! The great odour of syrup and taffy with baked smoke and soft iodine is good but simple. Water dampens, less sweet but unfortunately fatness pulls a blanket over everything. The taste at 57 is sweetbun-peaty with a taffy-smoky finish. Inbred and blunted, as usual. Water makes all the difference. More vivid flavours starting in honey from which juicy candy esters grow. Direct iodine slides into peat towards the end where drier dark chocolate meet up. Long iodine-fuggy finale, increasingly creosote-fresh, sweet citrus carries forward. Landing in heavy medicinal sweetness. Fresh and vibrant aftertaste (as its best right here). More water gives a long taste of fruit lemonade with small citrus marmalade and raspberry syrup. Peat with iodine puffs and fresher creosote walk accompany the fruit. The aftertaste gets heavier iodine medicinal, but not bitter-smoky, instead mint/lemon refreshes, bosomed by sweet fruit juice. It sounds good which it is. Hopefully the distillery can defend this new style coming years.