Lagavulin 16 is a very popular single malt. I have not come across a single whisky fan that does not like this. It is easy to get hold of in the UK and it competitively priced at around £50 given that it is a 16 year old whisky. The Lagavulin range is very limited, there is a distiller’s edition and an 8 year which I believe are both limited editions. I am not a fan of all peated whiskies, I like a light peat influence but it has to come with either a delicate citrus profile or a rich fruity profile – so basically a good dose of cask influence. At 16 years of age I expect this to provide much of that.
Whisky: Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 43%
Nose: Rich dark fruit, leather, vanilla, Salt, burnt rubbery
Taste: Spicy pepper, chilli, salt, black tea, forest fruits, smoke
Finish: Leather, cinnamon, vanilla, citrus rind, oak
Summary: This is a very complex whisky. At first it is big, bold and brash so I would recommend you try this with water if you are finding it too strong when neat. The rich dark fruits are present but there is an interesting salt notes to it too, not a coastal saltiness but more a savoury meaty saltiness, which may not sound nice, but it works. There is a slight element of burnt rubber which I don’t like but it remains on the periphery. It is quite difficult to summarise this one as there is a lot going on at the same time throughout the nose, taste and finish. If you are a fan of peated whiskies then you will already have tried this, if you haven’t then you must do. If you are not a fan of peated whiskies then I think you should give it a try, it might win you over as it is not dominated by peat. However, for me, as someone who is particular about the type of peated malt I like, I would happily have this on my whisky shelf on rotation but I would also need to be in the mood to drink this.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
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