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Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig 16: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig 16 in this head to head 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, Caol Ila 12

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 alternatives 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.

Laphroaig 16

laphroaig-16
NoseSmoke, lime, salt
PalateSmoke, ripe fruit, seaweed
FinishSmoke, citrus, earth
Alcohol content96 proof (48% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toLaphroaig 10

A reliable rule of thumb states that as aging lengthens whisky becomes less smoky and this is the case with the Laphroaig 16.

Laphroaig 16 is peaty but not as challenging as the 10 YO as the 6 additional years in the barrel subdued the smoke letting you appreciate fruity flavors better.

The nose kicks-off with smoke followed by hints of lime along a mineral note.

On the palate, Laphroaig 16 delivers a pleasant smoke note, that gives way to ripe fruit and a light seaweed note.

The finish lingers with very little warmth, with notes of smoke, citrus, along an earthy note.

This release was launched as a limited edition to celebrate Laphroaig 200th anniversary but has become a regular in the line-up.

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

  • Aged for 16 years using ex-bourbon barrels.
  • This whisky was not chill-filtered, this is a common practice among the industry as it prevents the liquid from becoming hazy, but some purists assure that the filtering also removes precious tasting notes from the dram.
  • The Laphroaig distillery was established in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston.
  • It is named after the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island of Islay.

Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig 16: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Lagavulin 16$100
Laphroaig 16$140

Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig 16: Which is better?

Lagavulin 16 is easier to like

WhiskyLagavulin 16Laphroaig 16
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Lagavulin is much easier to like. It starts with a blast of smoke and peat to later reward you with beautiful caramel sweetness.
  • The Laphroaig is a bit higher in smoke and seaweed and just a tad warmer making it a bit more demanding.

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