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Lagavulin 16 vs Kilchoman: Which Wins?

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

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 toLagavulin 8, Oban 14

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.

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.

Kilchoman Machir Bay

kilchoman-machir-bay
NoseSmoke, ripe fruit, orange
PalateVanilla, lemon, apple, pepper
FinishLong, fruity, tobacco, oak spice
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toArdbeg 10, Laphroaig 10

The nose kicks off with a blast of smoke, but as you let it breathe ripe fruit and orange hints pop-up.

On the palate, Kilchoman has a medium body providing a decent mouthfeel. First sip feels smooth and mostly sweet, with vanilla hitting first, followed by lemon, apple and a bit of oak spice.

The finish is long, with a fruit note to it, light smoke, tobacco and more oak spice, but nothing severe.

Kilchoman (pronounced Kil-ho-man) is deceiving as it is strong in smoke in the nose making you think that this going to be a smoky-monster but smoke is quite moderate on the palate.

There is pleasing warmth in the taste and just a light smoky note in the aftertaste. This whisky achieves good balance between peat and sweetness making a good dram.

Machir Bay is a very smooth, lightly peated and sweet Whisky more approachable and lighter than other Islay whiskies such as Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Lagavulin.

Overall, the Kilchoman Machir Bay is a light whisky, with a subtle peat note and a decent spice kick making it an enjoyable dram.

Machir Bay is an easy sipper so drink it neat or with a bit of water if you want to make it sweeter.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Kilchoman Machir Bay:

  • Machir Bay is a blend of a whisky aged for 5 years in ex-bourbon barrels and one aged for 6 years in ex-Oloroso Sherry Barrels.

  • Kilchoman is free of artificial caramel-coloring.

  • The Kilchoman Distillery is a novelty in the world of whisky as it was founded in 2005 by Anthony Wills and remains an independent and family run business.

Lagavulin 16 vs Kilchoman: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Lagavulin 16$100
Kilchoman Machir Bay$65

Lagavulin 16 vs Kilchoman Machir Bay: Which is better?

Kilchoman is much lighter on the smoke

WhiskeyLagavulin 16Kilchoman
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Lagavulin 16 is great whisky for those like that enjoy a well balanced smoke-bomb with sweet caramel notes.
  • Kilchoman Machir Bay is a different type of dram, a more approachable, moderate in smoke, smooth and quite easy to drink and yet interesting.
  • Kilchoman is a non chill-filtered dram and free of caramel-coloring. If those features are important for you this is your warrior.

Both whiskies belong have a place in the cabinet of a good aficionado as there are days better suited for different type of whiskies.

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