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Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig Lore: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig Lore in this head to head comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Lagavulin 16

  • Nose: Smoke, vanilla, iodine
  • Palate: Smoke, tobacco, seaweed, fresh fruit
  • Finish: Smoke, fig, vanilla
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Macallan 12


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 good?

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

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.

If you find yourself drowning 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.

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 smoky Scotch to wash down with a cigar by the fireplace and reflect about life.

Lagavulin 16 facts:

  • Lagavulin is aged for 16 years using ex-bourbon barrels.
  • 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.
  • This brand is owned by Diageo and contributes with malts to some of Johnnie Walker‘s best blends.
  • “Best Single Malt Whisky (13-19 Years)” at the 2013 Competition.

Laphroaig Lore

  • Nose: Smoke, mineral, vanilla
  • Palate: Smoke, ash, brine, chocolate, coffee, vanilla
  • Finish: Dried fruit, charred oak, brine
  • Alcohol content: 96 proof (48% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Ardbeg Uigeadail


The nose reminds me a bit of the Talisker 10, with notes of smoke, vanilla, along a rich brine note to it.

On the palate, Lore provides a great mouthfeel as it feels full-bodied.

Flavors brings a good hit of smoke and cigar ash at first, that gives way to chocolate and coffee notes along bourbon-like vanilla sweetness coming behind.

The finish lingers with dried fruit, brine, charred oak and pleasing warmth on the way down.

Is it good?

Saying that Lore is good in an understatement as it’s incredibly good.

Sweet, smooth, rich in smoke but not overwhelming nd nicely balanced providing a great experience from nose to finish.

The price might seem a bit high for a pour with no age statement but it won’t matter after a round or two as the flavor makes up for it entirely making it worth of every penny.

The black bottle in which it is presented doesn’t make the whisky taste better but looks cool in the cabinet receiving additional points.

Laphroaig Lore facts:

  • Lore is a NAS (no age statement) whisky.
  • Crafted using some whiskies that date back to 1993 and types of casks ranging from first-fill sherry, first-fill bourbon, refill bourbon, and whisky finished in European ex-sherry hogshead casks.
  • This is non-chill filtered whisky.
  • According to Laphroaig this is the “richest single malt” they have created using “200 years of knowledge and traditions“.
  • Laphroaig Distillery was founded 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.
  • Laphroaig is owned by Beam Suntory (Jim Beam).

Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig Lore: Which is more smoky?

In a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being the highest, the Laphroaig Lore will hit you with a 3 while the Lagavulin 16 with a 4 making the Lagavulin the smokier of the two.

Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig Lore: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Lagavulin 16$90
Laphroaig Lore$135

Lagavulin 16 vs Laphroaig Lore: Which is better?

Price gives the edge to Lagavulin

WhiskeyLagavulin 16Laphroaig Lore
  • These are lovely malts that hit with smoke and peat and yet let you appreciate other flavors.
  • They are smooth and well balanced providing sort of similar tasting profiles.
  • Given the shallow differences I prefer the Lagavulin 16 which is substantially more affordable.
  • In fact, the Lagavulin 16 is the best whisky under $100 in the United States making it a champ in terms of value.