Booze Review

Whisky Review – Lagavulin 16


“Since 1816, Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky has been made in a picturesque huddle of buildings on Lagavulin Bay. Perhaps the most beautifully situated of distilleries, Lagavulin makes arguably the most intense, smoky and rich whisky of all. For many, this is the definitive Islay malt.” – Malts.com

Since we are rapidly approaching the start of our second year at “It’s just the booze dancing…”, I thought I’d go back to the beginning of my journey through the world of whisk(e)y and write a review of the Lagavulin 16. I was first introduced to this whisky at Johnnie Walker’s Journey of Taste, which was held at The Union League in Philadelphia. The Lagavulin 16 is part of Diageo’s line of Classic Malt whiskies, and is one of the many malts used to make their Johnnie Walker series of blended whiskies.

I acquired this bottle through the “It’s just the booze dancing…” Whisk(e)y Exchange Program. What that means is that The Wookie received a bottle of this fine whisky for Christmas, but since he isn’t the biggest fan of smokey Single Malts, we decided to swap whiskies… I gave up The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve, and in return, I was given custody of the Lagavulin 16.

  • Appearance: Deep amber. Giving the glass a brisk swirl results in long, slow moving legs creeping down the sides.
  • Aroma: Peat smoke. Pipe tobacco. Dark brown sugar. Slightly medicinal.
  • Taste: Silky smooth texture. Very smokey at first. At mid-palate, the spiciness starts to build rapidly and leads you towards a long, dry, peppery finish that coats your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
  • ABV: 43%

This is the fourth bottle of the Lagavulin 16 that has been in my possession. To say that I like this whisky would be an understatement. Big, bold, smoky, spicy, and even a little sweet… this whisky is full of surprises! I won’t go so far as to call it my favorite whisky, but I would definitely put it on my Top 10 list, because even after all these years, it’s never disappointed me.

26 replies »

  1. Gotta love the ” Whisk(e)y Exchange Program”. So much better than the “Orphaned Beer Program” instituted when the ROK dumped a 12 pack of Bud Light Lime in my beer fridge. Every beer deserves a good home but I am sure the ROK could have found some college kids to take that poor excuse of a beer off his hands.

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  2. I think even college kids have better taste in beer these days. I probably would’ve made beer can chicken. Hmm, top 10 uses for orphaned beer – might be a blog in that.

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    • I had pretty good taste in beer in college, heck our parties regularly had one keg of “craft beer”, but I would have still gladly consumed the BLL back then. I think it’s not a defined taste thing but a taste range thing. In college my low end standard was much lower (still is in certain situations.)

      As for the “Orphaned Beer” Post … GREAT IDEA! I’ll get to work on it.

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    • You bring up an interesting point. College kids probably do drink well, but their drinking habits (the quality of the drink) depends upon what they were exposed to at home plus who they hang out with at college. I have always drank and ate well, but it’s been taken to the next level because of the company I keep. We can be a pretty decadent bunch at times. In a good way of course. 🙂

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      • 2 Points:

        A – Who are these people you are hanging out with that have elevated you tastes to the next level. They certainly are not any of the Booze Dancers or any of your friends I know …. I would like to meet them.

        B – A smiley face? Seriously? You are not a twelve year-old girl. 😦

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      • Slut … MAYBE

        Asshole … MOST DEFINITELY

        Jackass … NO WAY
        (that’s just an insult to all the hardworking donkeys in the Grand Canyon)

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  3. Nice review. Lagavulin is a near-perfect whisky for a dark, stormy night. Fortunately we have quite a few of those over here in Scotland, even in the (alleged) summer! If you can find it, get hold of the 12 year old Cask Strength. It’s a wee belter, as we say (rough translation ‘very good’).

    Sláinte!

    F.R.

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    • Thanks for the comment Freddie! I’ll keep an eye out for the 12. Sound like a potential Master of Malt purchase since I don’t think it’s available here.

      Slainte back atcha!
      G-LO

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