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Glenlivet 18 vs Lagavulin 16: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 18 vs Lagavulin 16 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Glenlivet 18

NoseRipe fruit, apricot, caramel
PalateOrange, vanilla, baking spice
FinishLong, oak, dried fruit, cinnamon
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenfiddich 18, Blue Label

Glenlivet is renowned for its smoothness and the 18 YO does not disappoint.

The nose is sweet and fruity, with a rich note of apricot and caramel.

The mouthfeel is overly smooth and harmless with a hint of sweet orange and vanilla and some baking spice coming behind.

The finish is long but dry, rich in oak, dried fruit and cinnamon, with pleasing warmth coming late to the party.

This malt is nicely balanced and smooth, but quite light lacking in character making a somewhat boring dram for an 18 YO as it lacks character or memorable tasting notes.

This is an easy sipper, free of smoke and a good choice for those who prefer smooth drams without strong aftertaste.

It drinks nicely neat, water does very little for it as it’s good as is.

Learn more about this brand reading my post: Discover the Best Glenlivet Whisky where I rank every bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Glenlivet 18:

  • The 18 YO is aged in a combination of both American and European oak.
  • The Glenlivet distillery was founded in 1824 and has operated almost continuously since.
  • The brand was acquired by Paris-based Pernod Ricard.

Lagavulin 16

NoseSmoke, vanilla, iodine
PalateSmoke, tobacco, seaweed, fresh fruit
FinishSmoke, fig, vanilla
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toTalisker 10, Lagavulin Offerman

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 Scotch 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.

Consider further options by reading my post with the best replacements to Lagavulin 16!

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.
  • Lagavulin is owned by Diageo and is a major contributor of malts to Johnnie Walker blends.

Glenlivet 18 vs Lagavulin 16: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 18$135
Lagavulin 16$105

Glenlivet 18 vs Lagavulin 16: Which is better?

Glenlivet is easier to like

WhiskyGlenlivet 18Lagavulin 16
  • Glenlivet is a nice and easy whisky with a traditional flavor profile. No smoke, peat or complicated notes making it quite approachable.
  • Lagavulin is a different thing, hits hard with smoke, peat and notes to later reward you with beautiful caramel sweetness.
  • Lagavulin is remarkably good but not aimed at the faint at heart.