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Lagavulin 16 Year Old

There is a God...

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

26th Feb 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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And here I was thinking that heavily peated whisky wouldn't be to my liking yet. But this Lagavulin made me see the light! After several careful encounters with Laphroaig and Ardbeg, I now tasted this Lagavulin 16 Year Old (that I got as a birthday gift).

The beautiful dark color and intense viscosity get your anticipation levels peaking.

The nose is very powerful with a truckload of iodine and peat, with quite a bit of salt. Close your eyes and you'll find yourself on the shores of Islay during a storm! Easy, baby, easy... I'm new to this. Several gentle sniffs bring out the subtler nuances with some vanilla - that was not expected! Great nose!

You do not want to dillute this baby, believe me. The dram is deceptively silky and coats your mouth completely. But... what is this? It starts with sweetness, even chocolate? That's not what I got from the nose. What is going on... But then - ah! The dram explodes in your mouth (you will actually widen your eyes in surprise, I know I did) with the peat, smoke, iodine and salt. Oh, yes! What a complexity. I love it!

The party continues during the finish and one cannot help but wonder: 'would it really hurt to pour me another one?!'

I can only add five more words: you must try this one!


Related Lagavulin reviews


LeFrog commented

I like this whisky a lot. I find the smoke very subtle and smooth.

Some people say the current batches aren't as good as they used to be but don't really get that.

"would it really hurt to pour me another one?!" - Nah!

10 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

I've heard that too, but unfortunately cannot compare as I haven't tasted the previous batches. And I felt the same way and indeed poured me another one :-)

10 years ago 0

BonnieMac commented

Thanks for commenting on this whisky, markjedi1 -- I am not a fan of the heavily-peated choices(reminiscent me of Band-Aids)but willing to re-try, as I am sure my tastes have changed. So, I will check it out (again) on your recommendation! I'll second the pour another one...after all we're all "tasting"; and, being well informed is key in being a critic. ;-)

10 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

@BonnieMac: hear, hear! You have to grow into peated whisky, I think. And I'm getting there, slowly but surely. That doesn't mean I'm leaving the softer drams behind. Auchentoshan 12 YO remains my number one!

10 years ago 0

Stu_R commented

Glad to hear you enjoyed your first taste of this one Mark. I think my first taste of any heavily peated whisky was infact the Lagavulin 16 and I instantly loved it......having said that its been a long time since I have had a bottle in house. The batch's do fluctuate a little but its always rather good.

10 years ago 0

db3 commented

Lagavulin 16 has long been my "every day" whisky, ever since that first sip. I'd have to agree that its not what it used to be -- I remember opening my first bottle and setting it on the table only to return a few minutes later to a room full of a "smoky campfire on the beach" scent. I think the aromas are more tightly held now, but its still a wonderful dram. And, for me, Lagavulin was a gateway whisky -- I now enjoy the more heavily peated stuff, specifically, the brands you mentioned. Well, glad you enjoyed your first Lagavulin. When you're ready to dial up the intensity, give the 12yo a try. cheers!

10 years ago 0

JohnMcWindows commented

Friends that hand you a L 16 for your birthday are friends to cherish and to keep man...

10 years ago 0

jdcook commented

I went Glenfiddich 12, Glefiddich 15, Talisker 10 and then Lagavulin 16. It was too big a step, but I persevered and within a couple of drams I started to enjoy it. Now I can taste the silky smoothness. Might go and grab it off the shelf now and give it a pour...

9 years ago 0

PerOllgaard commented

I love this whiskey, and i can definitely recommend it !

9 years ago 0

lucadanna1985 commented

I must say I started with Lagavulin 16 and now I find some difficulties in enjoying speyside or lowland drams...

9 years ago 0

jwise commented

This bottle holds a VERY special place in my heart. When it is gone it will be a sad day, indeed. I also have a bottle of Laphroaig 10yr Cask Strength, which is also a fantastic whisky (but it really destroys the palate for a couple days!) ;) I assume the 12yr Lagavulin (also cask strength) will be similar to the Laph CS.

When these bottles are gone, I will most likely replace them with a bottle of Laph 18yr, or Quarter Cask.

9 years ago 0

JustinH commented

Just cracked my first bottle of Lagavulin 16. I was dubious, after the Laphroig 10, (which I enjoyed, yet noticed had a strong peat and smoke flavour to it) whether the neighbouring Lagavulin Distillery would produce such a heavily peated Malt.

I had read great reviews, and upon dreaming of being Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation, I went out and grabbed this dram.

And boy, am I sure glad I did. This is such a complex and smooth Whisky, with a smokiness that lingers, but does not intrude. Still maintaining that Islay peat, it is more subdued than the Laphroig, and hangs around in the back of the throat just nicely.

This is a well balanced Islay Malt, without any notes overpowering any others.

I am certainly not an articulate Whisky Connsr, yet I can say without a doubt, this is the best Single Malt I've had to date, and has become my favourite Whisky on the market.

This will be my 'go to' Single Malt until something else triumphs it.

5 years ago 0

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