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Balvenie 14 vs Lagavulin 16: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Balvenie 14 vs Lagavulin 16 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask

balvenie-14-caribbean-cask
NoseVanilla, banana, pineapple, pepper
PalateVanilla, honey, ripe fruit, tobacco
FinishLong, vanilla, oak spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBalvenie 12, Oban 14

The nose is quite sweet as it’s full of ripe tropical fruit along a dash of black pepper.

One the palate, Balvenie 14 is really smooth, full of pleasant sweetness with no burn at all. Flavor hits with vanilla and honey at first, followed by hints of ripe fruit, along a tobacco note.

The finish lingers with pleasant warmth, vanilla and just a tad of oak spice.

Balvenie 14 is pleasantly fruity, high in notes coming from the Caribbean casks but well balanced against traditional Scotch flavors.

This is an exceptionally smooth and mild dram, sweet and incredibly easy to drink as it shows no harshness, smoke, peat or off-putting notes.

This is a great option for anyone looking to break into Single Malt Scotch.

If you have tried the Balvenie 12 I can assure you this is an upgrade, it is also smooth but more flavorful with a soothing warmth at the end that the 12 year lacks.

Overall, this the Balvenie 14 is a pleasing Scotch and solid option as an “everyday whisky” due to its smoothness.

What makes this whisky special is that it first aged in traditional American oak barrels and then finished in casks that were seasoned with a blend of fine Caribbean rums hand-picked by David C. Stewart.

Stewart is the man that came up with the idea of wood finishing, a process in which Scotch is matured in one type of cask, such as ex-Bourbon barrels and then transferred into a second cask type such as ex-sherry or ex-rum.

There are a few things worth knowing about the Balvenie 14:

  • Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011.

Lagavulin 16

lagavulin-16
NoseSmoke, vanilla, iodine
PalateSmoke, Tobacco, seaweed, fresh fruit
FinishSmoke, fig, vanilla
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toCaol Ila 12, Ardbeg 10

Lagavulin 16 has a strong aroma of smoke and sea salt along sweet notes of vanilla and caramel.

Flavor is rich, with a delicious blast of smoke, caramel, along fruity sweetness. The peatiness is incredibly well balanced against some caramel sweetness, rich, smooth and delicious.

This whisky is creamy and smooth and pleasantly warm.

The finish is long, sweet and pleasantly warm, with more smoke to it.

Lagavulin 16 is a great malt with a strong but still enjoyable peaty profile with delicious sweetness.

The long aging period diminished the smoky notes a bit whilst adding the sweet vanilla from the bourbon barrels in which it was aged. This is one of the best peaty single malts in the market.

If you find yourself overwhelmed in smoke add a few drops of water, that will open-up the Lagavulin making it sweeter, while tuning-down the peat and will become easier to sip.

This is a Scotch to enjoy neat with a few drops of water to open it up making it more approachable.

Learn how it compares to the Lagavulin 8!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Lagavulin 16:

  • Named the “Best Single Malt Whisky” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.

  • 6 Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

  • Lagavulin distillery was founded in 1816 by John Johnston and Archibald Campbell, is located in the village of Lagavulin on the south of the island of Islay, Scotland.

Balvenie 14 vs Lagavulin 16: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Balvenie 14$90
Lagavulin 16$110

Balvenie 14 vs Lagavulin 16: Which is better?

Choose your warrior based on personal preferences

WhiskeyBalvenie 14Lagavulin 16
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Balvenie 14 is a sweet whisky with nice tasting notes from those rum casks making it an easy drinker.

  • Lagavulin 16 welcomes you with a blast of smoke and peat to later reward you with beautiful sweetness, but it demands a persistent aficionado to truly enjoy the experience.

  • Personally, I’m very fond of Lagavulin 16, but this whisky is definitely more challenging.

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