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Lagavulin 16 Review: Everything you need to know!

Discover everything about the Lagavulin 16 in this in-depth review that answers all your related questions!

Lagavulin 16 tasting notes: How does it taste?

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

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

On the palate, it provides a great mouthfeel as it feels thick and creamy.

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

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

Is it smoky?

High in smoke

In a 1 to 5 scale (5 the highest) the Lagavulin 16 scores a 4 making it quite high and hard to swallow to new drinkers.

The peated barley has up to twenty times as much exposure to peat smoke as compared to the average Scotch.

How to drink it?

Add water

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.

Is Lagavulin 16 good whisky?



Lagavulin 16 is the best Single Malt under $100 in the United States and one of the best smoky Scotch whiskies, that’s how good I think it is.

Quite smoky, but smooth and incredibly well balanced providing a great experience from nose to finish with no let downs.

It is demanding, though, only suitable for experienced aficionados as it welcomes you with a blast of smoke up-front to later reward you with caramel sweetness and beautiful fruity notes.

This is a lovely whisky to wash down with a cigar by the fireplace and reflect about life.

Is it chill-filtered?


This is a chill-filtered whisky which prevents it from becoming hazy.

Does it use caramel-colouring?


It has artificial caramel-coloring making the only thing I dislike about it and reason I don’t give it 5 stars.

Even though the use of artificial caramel-colouring is legit according to the set of laws that govern Scotch Whisky, somehow I feel cheated but I can live with that as the flavor makes up for it entirely.

Lagavulin 16: aging

16 years

Aged for sixteen years in second-fill, American oak casks that were previously used to mature bourbon.

Lagavulin 16: Alternatives

Lagavulin 11 Offerman & Lagavulin 8


I guess you have heard about Nick Offerman, the Lagavulin Offerman honors the American actor who has appeared in fantastic ads for Lagavulin; they are something well worth watching on YouTube!

Celebrity sponsored spirits tend to suck but the Lagavulin Offerman is quite good. It hits harder with the smoke as it has a shorter aging than the 16, though.

Another good one is the Lagavulin 8 which is even smokier than the Offerman. Quite challenging but incredibly good and only suitable for those with a penchant for smoke-bombs.

Lagavulin 16: Price

Prices are approximate and stated in local currency:

United States$75

Lagavulin 16: Alcohol content

86 proof (43% ABV)

At 90 proof this would be even better!

Does it expire?

Alcoholic beverages do not expire

It will last for years as long as you store it in a cool place and away from the sunlight.

I strongly suggest drinking it ASAP once the content is down to 25% as liquors start developing awkward notes past this level.

Awards & Accolades

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

How is it made?

  1. Once the grains have been harvested and malted, they are dried over a peat and gas fire calibrated specifically to produce the signature bold flavor.
  2. Grains are milled and mashed before being fermented for approximately 72 hours.
  3. distilled twice, first through a wash still for approximately five hours and then again through a spirit distill for approximately nine hours.
  4. This is the slowest distillation process of any Islay distillery, giving Lagavulin its characteristic round flavors and mellow edges.

Lagavulin 16 Year: Cheat Sheet

Type of WhiskySingle Malt
Age statement16Y
Is it good?Yes
Is it top-shelf?Yes
Does it expire?No
Good for beginners?No
Good for cocktails?No
Good with Coke?No
Calories per shot108