Whisky season really gets into full swing once the Diageo limited malts start making their way in. Lagavulin is here.

Lagavulin 12 Year Old 2012 Edition Natural Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $109.99 - A limited edition, natural cask strength single malt whisky from the essential Islay distillery, Lagavulin, on Islay's rocky south coast. Ninth of a series of special 12 year old releases from the original distiller's stocks. Vatted from refill American oak casks, each at least 12 years old. Available in limited quantities worldwide. An elegant classic; massive smoke and purity of flavour supported by complex aromas and delicious sweetness. Less rich and plummy than the 16 year old, this starts with a fresh moss nose that is well hidden in the standard bottle.

Lagavulin Distiller's Edition Single Malt Whisky $109.99 – The 2012 limited edition is here, loaded with the Pedro Ximenez sherry from the double maturation. Big, cakey, and round with tons of richness. Smoke comes soft on the finish. Always a big hit. We’ve been getting about five requests a day for this lately, so it appears the DE Lagavulin is the new hot thing! I have never been a big fan of this whisky, but I had a sample bottle to pop so I just gave it a try. I was quite taken aback. This 2012 edition is exactly what I hope Lagavulin with extra sherry will taste like, but never seems to actually do. A burst of rich raisiny sherry comes first with all the classic Lagavulin smoke and brine on the back end. I've found that previous editions have overdosed on the sherry and drowned out the peat. Not this one. It's perfectly harmoneous. It's totally balanced and right where it needs to be. I think it might be the best Lagavulin I've tasted in years. Much better than the standard 16 in my opinion. Fans of the distillery will be very pleased.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll