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March 27, 2014
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Lagavulin 16 year old review

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WhiskyRant’s conclusions
Tasting notes
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Lagavulin 16 year old single malt whisky review

Where can I start? Still, after over 200 whiskies tasted, my absolute favorite dram. I could go on and on about the grandeur of Lagavulin 16 year old. It is the reason, why I started my whisky tasting hobby. Whisky has been one of my favorite drinks ever since I got my first taste of it. But after Lagavulin 16YO, I started a quest for finding something that can top it. When I was younger, I didn’t adore whisky as much as I do now. Whisky (the cheap ones) was just a great and rough way to get drunk. Lagavulin showed me the grand side of whisky. It made me appreciate whisky the way it should be appreciated.

This absolute royalty of single malt whiskies, the Lagavulin 16 year old, has been matured mostly in Ex-Bourbon American White Oak casks. Getting its final touch, when finished in Ex-Sherry European Oak casks.

Lagavulin 16 is my personal TRAINSPOTTING whisky – superb dram!

Same thing happened with my other passion, the movies, when I watched Trainspotting for the very first time. Movies had always interested me a bit but Trainspotting made me a movie freak. After Trainspotting, I needed to explore and study the movie industry. Lagavulin 16YO and Trainspotting are amazing bits of Scottish craftsmanship and artisan spirit. True examples of how something so great can grab you and push you deep into the world exploring great movies/whisky.

These both made me become aware of the fact that there’s more in both industries, than the products you mostly see every day at every store shelf or every theater. You just have to look further and find it yourself.

Lagavulin 16 year old gives you an intriguing expedition with strong dryness and smoke mixed with good flavors and just enough complexity, not too much though. Trainspotting offers dryness as well, in the form of humor. Together with a simple storyline told in an interesting manner. Epic masterpieces of their genre and era.

Tasting Notes

Matured in:
Ex-Bourbon casks, finished in Ex-Sherry casks
Colour: Dark amber
Nose: Strong smoke hits yout from the start. Spices, sweet notes and iodine with peat. Enriched smoke changes into sweet peat towards the end.
Taste: The peat is very powerful. Hints of oak, salt and a malt. Smoke follows all the way but is nicely on the background. Sweet notes of sherry.
Finish: Great and lasting finish of spices, peat and smoke mixed in together. Bit nutty and earthly notes.
Balance: Very thick and strongly aromatic. Advances consistently. Benchmark whisky from Lagavulin.

Lagavulin 16YO Scoring

Distillery: Lagavulin Region: Islay ABV: 43%
Did you know?
Lagavulin peats its malt with a 35 ppm level. They used to peat their malt much higher – in the late 20th century, it was usually peated somewhere around 50 ppm like Ardbeg for example. Lagavulin decided to reduce the peating level to 35 ppm in the mid 1990’s, so over the last seven years or so, the casks containing lower peat level malts have reached 16 years old. For smooth transition, the vattings for each release have been blended carefully. So that fans of Lagavulin don’t get shocked by a sudden change. But if you carefully compare a Lagavulin 16YO purchased today with an older one – something from 7 or 8 years ago, you probably can feel a difference.

Brian Cox says it best: “The cognac of whiskies. Works like a depth charge. Pow”

Lagavulin 16 review by WhiskyRant – a benchmark whisky of Islay

My other Lagavulin related reviews:

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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