Review #16: Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition 2017

The story: As mentioned in the Lagavulin 16 review, we have been doing side-by-side comparisons of the Lagavulin bottlings we have. It’s been incredibly fun and educational, and the 16 serves as an excellent reference point.

The end rankings were as follows:

  1. Exclusive Malts Isle of Islay
  2. Lagavulin 18 (2018 Feis)
  3. Lagavulin 16
  4. Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition 2017

Two bottles next to each other with glasses between in front of a backlit bar.
Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition (left) and Lagavulin 16 (right). Darker color on the DE, but more oily body on the 16.

Lagavulin Distiller's Edition 2017 Review
  • Score - 7/10

Tasting Notes

Nose: Farther away, you smell coconut, fresh zesty citrus, and lemongrass. It comes off lighter and brighter than the Lagavulin 16, which noses comparatively darker and richer. As you bring your nose closer, the barbecue sauce, candied red apples, and smoke come through.

Palate: Vanilla, barbecue, sardines, salt. There’s a small hint of medicinal cherry, but it quickly fades into smoke. You’re left with a whisper of lingering dry smoked oak and cigars, but without the creaminess and directness of the Lagavulin 16. But when I taste it (without the Laga 16 reference point) it’s still a “wet” type of dryness.

As soon as you taste Lagavulin 16, though, it is comparatively lighter in profile. It tastes a bit like a picture of Lagavulin with a camera that is behind a light-diffusing selfie filter.


TLDR: “A Blurry Selfie of Lagavulin.” Overview: Really good, but I much prefer the punch of Lagavulin 16 (which is also cheaper). Bought for: $110/bottle.

Quick overview of our scoring system

Additional Information

  • Vintage 2001 and bottled in 2017
  • 16 years
  • Aged in ex-Bourbon and Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks
  • ABV 43%
  • Batch: Lvg 4/506

About Lagavulin and Distiller’s Edition:

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