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Lagavulin 16 Year Old

A Fog of Roses

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@zerostarReview by @zerostar

28th Feb 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Having crossed paths with many glowing reviews of this expression, I finally got myself a bottle to taste. Throughout my adventures with the water of life, I seem to lean more in the direction of the smoky than the sweet with a few notable exceptions like the tantalizing Aberlour A'bunadh, for instance. I was not expecting the sickly balance that greeted me with this Lagavulin and although I am glad to have experienced this 16 year old Islay, I will probably not purchase again.

Let's be clear; this does not strike me as an inferior whisky. There is a well-roundedness that permeates from all angles. I can see why some do enjoy this dram but for me, the flavor profile mixed in here is not enough of a standout to keep it on any short list of future joys to be had.

On the nose, there is a sense of old musty rose petals, a slight hint of cedar, and, well, a fog. In fact the entire intake is quite foggy indeed; lifeless and unremarkable.

Taste: Reminds me of an A'bunadh, only without the fun. The arrival is quick with a slight burn, but the overall density never really develops into anything interesting. Normally, With time (about 1 minute per year of the age statement) and a drop or two of spring water most drams I have experienced to date evolve into a more pure version of themselves. While it does seems to lighten up a bit, sadly the expected evolution never actually takes place.

The finish is as stifled as it is medicinal, with a maudlin sweetness that lingers like a cough syrup aftertaste on the tongue.

I had high hopes for this one, both with all of the community coverage and even some local peeps mentioning it as something to seek out. No such love from me on the Lagavulin 16; this may be another that I give away; and I do so dislike giving away hard bought whisky *sigh

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bobnoxy commented

Boy, what a relief. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who didn't like this one. The iodine was so strong in my bottle that I poured the last half down the drain. I couldn't imagine why anyone would like the taste of that. I wondered if I hadn't just gotten a bad bottle as few others seem to mention the heavy iodine taste. Everyone else seems to love Lagavulin 16, so I was getting confused that maybe I just didn't get it.

7 years ago 0

zerostar commented

I am also comforted to hear that there is another peep out there who had a similar experience. Sorry to hear about the drainPour - I figure if I can give it to one of my friends eager to give it a try at least someone might find a redeemable drop in there /shrug. Either way, it's on the way off my shelf for sure.

In any case, thanks for your comment and may your future whiskys delight :)

7 years ago 0

michaelschout commented

I find it odd that both of you have a couple peated single malts that are really heavy with the iodine and medicinal flavours and yet neither like the Lagavulin 16. But then again nobody can like every malt, even if they do enjoy that particular style.

7 years ago 0

zerostar commented

Hey Michaelscout,

My issue with this bottling was mainly the sickly sweetness and the general malaise within. I love me some peaty goodness (Ardbeg Uigeadail and Laphroaig CS are my top 2 all time), but I hardly noticed it in this dram, to be honest I wouldn't even list that as a feature. The Lagavulin 16 is quite dim overall with nothing to hold my interest, and I would not invite it back to be a recurring shelf dweller.

While this flavor profile is not for me, some may enjoy it and more power to them :) I have experimented with quite a few bottles myself seeking my own preferences and thankfully most have met me with open arms and agreeable palettes. Sadly, This Lag16 did not.

Thanks for your comment and I hope you enjoy your future drams :)

7 years ago 0

bobnoxy commented

I never said I knew what I was talking about! Just that I hated that bottle. Which are the others I have that I'm going to hate too? Maybe I can off them to someone else. :o)

7 years ago 0

GrossoLee commented

Personally I didn't find it so disappointing. It started to disappoint me from half bottle empty. It suffers the time passing a lot, but maybe not more than others. What I found as disappointing as the Laga16 you've reviewed is the so appreciated Talisker 10yo. What an awful dram!

7 years ago 0

mattatec commented

These comments are crazy. This is a fine, fine scotch. Full of richness and complexity.

7 years ago 0

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