Lagavulin 16 (43%, OB 2018)

Let’s taste a few peat monsters before the warm weather returns, starting with a classic. Like most whisky aficionados (I assume!), I always have a bottle of Lagavulin 16 in the cabinet. There often is chat about the quality fluctuating with different batches, but I’ve never noticed much variability from bottle to bottle. The prices have been creeping up over the past few years, but are still reasonable for a 16 year-old whisky.

Nose: Asphalt, smoked bacon, pebbles on the beach, a little bit of seaweed. It’s quite dry, with raisins and some nuts in the background. A quintessential Islay nose of course, but with less of the diesel engine and medicine that you get from their neighbours Laphroaig.

Palate: Powerful smoky arrival. Brine, some raisins, shellfish. Decent mouthfeel. Would it be better at a higher ABV? Maybe, but the 43% works well. There’s just a hint of sweetness in the background of this mostly dry palate.

Finish: Medium, quite savoury – smoked meats.

Comments: I always seem to find it less sweet than most reviewers. Sure, there is a sherried component but the maritime peat is firmly on the driving seat. It’s a very consistent bottling too – quite rightly a classic.

Score: 89/100

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