Among all of the iconic bottles of whisky, few have garnered the love and cult status of the Lagavulin 16. It is one of the most pungent and intensely flavoured whiskies to come out of Scotland, and not for the timid drinker. This whisky features an incredible intense peat-smoke style, unique even to the other distilleries in the Southern coast of Islay, and really highlights the use of peat-smoke as a canvas for the other elements of this whisky to work with.
A beautifully complex and powerful whisky that is readily available and carries a friendly price tag ($92 SGD at travel retail shops), this is truly one of the all time greats.
Lagavulin 16 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 43%
Nose: A sweet briney note, as if salted caramel was made using water from the beach. Undertones of kelp, iodine, sour tropical fruits, subtle sweet peat and a very slight hint of vanilla beans. Lovely interplay of pungent and sweet tones that make for an utterly complex and addictive aroma. 92/100
Palate: Sweet, rich and drying. The sweetness of mandarin oranges and tangerines, which transforms into a ketchup or barbecue sauce sweetness as it ushers in the big smoke that glues everything together. The smoke truly is alike to Lapsang Souchong tea, as Dave Broom mentioned. For fans of exotic Asian tea, this sensation of smoke is an extremely familiar sensation to Lapsang Souchong tea. The tartness of pineapple following the smoke is ever so pleasant. 95/100
Finish: Right as the palate dissipates, the long and drying smokey finish is something should be celebrated entirely on its own. If it could be put to words, imagine pineapple slices dipped in syrup that have been skewered and slow-smoked to perfection. An artful playing of smoke, sweetness and gentle tannins. 92/100
Afterthoughts: If I had to choose one whisky to drink for the rest of my life, it would be this one. A strong and robust whisky which has the perfect balance of a feisty distillery character and complex maturity. A whisky that is so familiar and yet so surprising, drinking this will always be an occasion to savor, no matter if you are sharing it with close friends, drinking it as your nightcap, or even enjoying this in a smokey cokey.
I score it: 93/100
Thanks for reading! Kanpai!
Opinions and pictures are my own.