Lagavulin 16 (Whisky Review)
Updated: Jul 11
Time for another dram!
Being aged 16 years, this single-malt whisky is one of the smokiest you can find from the Islay region. It has 43% ABV and quite intense flavours.
The Lagavulin isn't my usual go-to whisky, and, as I said before, I'm not very fond of smokey (peated) whiskies, but I received this for my birthday so I had to give it a try.
Did the one who gifted me this super peaty whisky know this before buying it, or did she know how I generally feel about them? Absolutely NOT and seeing her reaction was amazing! Watching her face go from 'I don't know what she'll think about it' to 'What have I done?!!!' was priceless.
I was opening birthday presents and some friends were asking me to describe what I particularly appreciate about certain whiskies and the more I described, the more she was realizing she did not get this one right.
Honestly, I couldn't be more grateful, contrary to what I usually like, I actually enjoy this one.
It's powerful, smokey as you can't even imagine (unless you're used to this) but also a bit on the sweet side. All of these combined make it surprisingly pleasant, with quite an oaky and spicy finish.
Accompanying the Lagavulin 16 was a box of Iain Burnett's handmade chocolates, designed specifically with this brand of whisky in mind. I was honestly impressed by this detail. I have been pairing whisky with chocolate for quite a while now, and it's been made even more clear to me how much of a good fit it can be after a little trip to Glasgow.
It was time to put to test the box of nine with five different types of truffles to suit the 12, 16 or 18-Year-old Lagavulin. The Cinnamon and Clove Praline, the one made for the 16-year-old Lagavulin (the red one in the box - see photo above) complemented the whisky absolutely perfectly (for me, at least). The fruitiness and spiciness of the Lagavulin was highlighted by the milk chocolate in a way which made me reconsider peaty whiskies.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly the number one fan of peated whiskies, it's just that this one feels a bit different from what I've tried before.
The Milk Velvet truffle and the Milk Velvet Praline, although better suited for the 12-Year and 12-Yea Special, proved to be good companions to the 16 Year Old Lagavulin.
The White Lime and Chili Velvet Truffle was even better compared to the previous two and, for me, on a similar level with the Mocha Velvet Truffle - made with Lagavulin's Distiller's Edition in mind.
These handmade artisan chocolates are delicious whether paired with the respective whiskies or simply on their own. Consider me a fan of them if you wish.
I'm definitely and obviously not an expert, I just like to share with you my experience in trying these wonderful whiskies. Overall, I think the Lagavulin 16 is a great whisky, but not if your go-to is light, floral and delicate. If you're feeling adventurous, give it a try, and maybe give the chocolates a go, they're definitely worth it.
Adding a drop of water or an ice cube seems to open the aromas of this beautiful whisky even more.
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As always, please drink responsibly.
I hope life is treating you well. Take care