Lagavulin 21 y.o. Review

Lagavulin 21 y.o. (2012)017

52% abv

Score:  93/100


Following on the heels of the near-unanimously praised Lagavulin 21 from 2007, Diageo has rolled out a new edition of this milestone malt.  While the earlier edition swept up accolades faster than the street cleaners in Vegas do the Copperfield act with those little clicking porn cards, there seems to be a slightly slower stampede to embrace this one.  In fact, one very trusted palate I know swears the old 21 was a sulphured mess.  I’ve yet to try, but after sampling this version…I desperately want a chance at it to compare, if nothing else.

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room.  $Price$.  I hate to jump aboard the Diageo-bashing wagon, but…seems this ride is going my way.  Perhaps the fact that the production run of this Lag 21 was less than half of that of the 2007 release is a driver for the absolutely fucking ridiculous Diageo pricing scheme here.  (Take note, folks in the high offices at Diageo…you should be ashamed of yourselves).  This is the most atrocious gouging I have seen (excepting perhaps the Dalmore tomfoolery of late…and perhaps the Glenmorangie Pride), so let’s give a healthy ‘thank gawd’ that at least the malt in the bottle is damn good.

How good?  Well…really, really good, to be honest.

Nose:  Prunes and eucalyptus.  Iodine.  Briny notes.  Capers and lemon and oysters.  Some sort of cleaning product.  Some jammy fruit and ju-jube.  Tobacco and dry smoke.   Damp earth.

Palate:  Juicy…smoky…fruity and thick.  Pepper.  Sweet, but meaty.  Again…the chewy, Ju-jube like candy.  Peach skin.

To be totally clear…this is a bloody good whisky, but at $850 a bottle for a 21 year old it damn well better be.  Even more impressive on a second visit.  Lovely, sweet and rewarding.

(Note: Score is reflective of the quality in the bottle, irrespective of investment concerns)


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

2 thoughts on “Lagavulin 21 y.o. Review

  1. skeptic

    I don’t know if I could open a bottle that expensive. That’s over $1 a millilitre! A couple of dollars a SIP!

    Actually to be fair, I DID open a bottle that expensive, a Macallan 25 – but I didn’t know what a Macallan (or a 25) was as the time… And at 43% it was probably overpriced…

  2. Andrew Ferguson

    It is very good, have had a few opportunities to sample it including this weekend in Victoria. The price is a thump over the head, and I will not be able to personally take ownership of one, but I bet they’ll still all sell out!


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