Lagavulin is widely recognised as one of the leading names in whisky throughout the globe and regularly falls within the same breath as its fellow southern Islay neighbours Laphroaig and Ardbeg. The 16 year old is the core expression of Lagavulin and has (deservedly) garnered cult status amongst whisky fans and peatheads worldwide. Each facet of the dram is distinctive and should be savoured.
M: It’s hard to describe without using its own name – its simply, big Lagavulin smoke.
R: So I get a real outdoorsy smell from this. Like a camp fire.With like a caramel-ishness.
M: Caramel sweetness and big rich, fruity flavours at first that are then instantly battered by full malty smoke and oak.
R: I find it kind of evaporates on the tongue very quickly, then fills your mouth with smoky deliciousness.
M: Brown sugar sweetness upfront and then the smoke builds and builds as it coats the throat on the way down, leaving a peppery spiciness in the smoky aftermath.
R: It’s like it’s light and delicate but simultaneously potent and powerful.
M: Amazing. It’s hard to describe as it’s just distinctly Lagavulin. Regardless of whether or not you like smoky whiskies, one encounter with this dram and you can understand why it has cult status. “Mother’s milk” as Ron Swanson would put it.
R: Final verdict, for me, it’s not an every day kind of whisky. It’s the sort of thing you need to be in the right mood for. It’s an evening in front of the fire, with dressing gowns and cigars and a leather bound book kind of drink. One other point. I had a bit of a sinus headache when I poured the glass. It’s gone now.