The Lagavulin 16 Year Old; a whisky that has become a benchmark Islay dram, a truly wonderful peat bomb.
The Lagavulin distillery is located on the island of Islay just off the west coast of Scotland. It's the second distillery, along with Caol Ila, on the island that is owned by Diageo. Islay whiskies are synonymous with being intensely peaty and Lagavulin is very much a typical Islay distillery so you can be sure that they love their peat, and in big doses. Lagavulin (English warping of the Gaelic lag a’mhuilin, which means “hollow by the mill”) has been making peated whisky since 1816, so it's pretty safe to assume that they've got this whole peated whisky thing figured out.
The Lagavulin 16 is the core expression of the distillery and, not surprisingly, is intensely peaty. If you're of a nervous disposition when it comes to flavoursome whiskies, I'd avoid it, but, on the other hand, if you're a courageous and adventurous soul then you most certainly won't be disappointed. Matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in ex-sherry European oak casks, you'll get a wonderful sulphurous aroma that slowly gives way to marzipan, sponge cake and dried fruit.
On the palate it's sweet, with initial soft fruits, peat and sea salt. The finish is huge, long and peppery … it really warms your soul.
This expression is a classic and one of the most widely available and biggest selling single malt whiskies in the world. With 10 double gold medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition under its belt, it's also one of the most awarded single malts. A truly interesting dram and a must buy for any whisky aficionado.