I started this review because Reddit’s /r/scotch (which is a really fantastic community, by the way) was doing a group review on Lagavulin 16 for December. I posted our review on there, but neglected to update Drunken Diplomacy with the review. And because we have several different expressions of Lagavulin, we did a side-by-side comparison with Isle of Islays (Exclusive Malt – very strongly hinted to be a Lagavulin), Lagavulin 18 (Feis 2018 edition), and Distiller’s Edition 2018.
The end rankings were as follows (reviews will be forthcoming and I will link them in this post as I go along):
- Exclusive Malts Isle of Islay
- Lagavulin 18 (2018 Feis)
- Lagavulin 16
- Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition 2017
- 100% Malted Barley
- 16 year old (hence the name)
- Aged in ex-bourbon barrels and sherry casks next to the sea. However, there is no information out there on how long it is finished in the sherry cask.
- ABV 43%
- We visited the distillery! Our recap of the distillery, where we did the tasting and nosing class, is here.
- Diageo originally thought in 1989 that the Lagavulin 16 Year Old would be only for the “most dedicated” drinker since it was too smokey for the common palate
- Has won the Best Distiller’s Single Malt of 2017 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation) is one of the most famous fans. He recently dressed as a statue slowly sipping Lagavulin 16 for 45 minutes.