Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 16 Years
ABV: 43 %
Colour: Golden Amber (E-150 is added)
Nose: First impressions are lovely mellow Peat and a Meaty tone that reminds me of drizzling Bacon Fat when you are Char-grilling Pork. The Sea is not far away as well with Salt and Brine coming through along with some Oak and light Sherry. There are some Medicinal Notes as well and even a hint of Rubber but all in a good way. Cigar Ash, Tea, Brown Sugar, Herbs, Leather, Honey, Buttered Toast with Orange Marmalade and Vanilla complete the picture. It's not as wild and exciting as young Islay whiskies like Ardbeg 10 or Laphroaig 10, but it's smooth and inviting. You can certainly tell the extra years. Very nice!
Palate: The delivery is by far not as powerful as I had expected. I hesitate to say it but I found it a bit on the thin side. I'm disappointed after the wonderful Nose and I believe this dram should have been bottled at 46%. The Lagavulin 16 is actually on the Bitter-Sweet side and a little bit Dusty. I get Peat, Leather, Oak, Tobacco, Malt, Hazelnuts, Caramel/Toffee, Cigar Ashes and Smoke, White Pepper, Sherry and Medicinal Notes.
Finish: Middle-Long and slightly Bitter with Smoke, Peat, Pepper, Sherry, Leather, Caramel, Ashes, Figs and Iodine.
I added a bit of Water but won't do that again. The Lagavulin 16 does not take Water very well in my opinion.
Rating: 88 (out of 100)
Nose: 23 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 22
General Remarks: Lagavulin (Gaelic for "The Hollow Where The Mill Is") is one of the oldest distillery sites in Scotland. Around 1816 a local farmer and distiller by the name of John Johnston founded the first legal distillery. Lagavulin is located on the rocky Southern Shore of the Isle of Islay, close to the ruins of Dunyvaig Castle and Port Ellen. Lagavulin receives the slowest distillation of all Islay malts and matures in old Oak Casks. It costs around 75 US Dollars.
Drinking Experience Neat: Good
Conclusion: I feel a bit sad. Lots of people love the Lagavulin 16 and get very lyrical about it. So I must admit I was rather hyped up before starting to nose and taste this dram. And the start was very promising. The Nose of the 16 is really mellow and laid back. The peat smoke is there but it's not dominant. It's more like a cloud that gently embraces the other flavour components. Very well done. The Palate however, although smooth and well-balanced, doesn't quite convince me. It's a bit thin and dusty. It should be bottled at 46% in my opinion. And the Finish is rather short for an Islay Single Malt. It's still a good Whisky of course and it's a smooth way of entering the Peaty World of Islay. However, I somehow had expected it to be my new # 1 Whisky at this point of my journey through Whisky Land. But it's not I'm afraid and that's why I'm a wee bit sad!