You’d be hard pressed to find a more classic expression than the Lagavulin 16. Revered by many, and for a lot of people also one of their first ever malt whiskies. I’m not one of those people. Subtle Highland or Speyside peat I tend to love, full-on Islay peat is not so much for me (with some exceptions). Anyway, here are my thoughts.
Lagavulin 16 (43%, OB, +/- 2015)
Nose: Fresh peat, sal ammoniac with heather and subtle wood smoke. Some lemon but also red fruit, strawberries maybe, which I don’t come across often when nosing. Salt and pepper.
Taste: Salty licorice, peat smoke, tobacco and olives. Some sweeter apples and caramel in the background. The spirit is a bit watery, but the flavours are all here.
Finish: Drying ash, walnuts. Salt. The finish is very long.
I like this, but I don’t love it. I can see though why this would be the go-to whisky for peat enthusiasts. Pretty affordable and pretty good.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Lagavulin either, though I still think they’re nice enough whiskies. For me it’s Caol Ila – something more gentle, and subtle. I’ve never quite understood why people revere the former so much!
I completely agree with you on Caol Ila. I don’t have many peated whiskies at home, but for me Caol Ila is the exception to the rule. Really like what they are doing over there. And some of the indie bottlings from the early eighties are simply epic.
It was on sale at 279 DKK / €37 in a Danish Supermarked a few months back. Cheap – but not my kind of whisky