Discover the differences between Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 10 in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!
- 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: Ardbeg 10, 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 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.
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 whisky 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.
- Nose: Smoke, pear, apple
- Palate: Smoke, dried fruit, mineral notes
- Finish: Long, pleasantly peppery
- Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
- How to drink: Add water
- Similar to: Kilkerran 12, Port Charlotte 10
There is a fair amount of smoke on the nose at first, followed by hints of pear, apple and a bit of iodine.
On the palate, the Talisker 10 displays a creamy texture.
Flavor offers a moderate hit of smoke at first, that quickly mellows out into rich dried fruit sweetness, with hints of cereal, black pepper and a mineral note.
The finish is long, with a satisfying warming peppery note and mineral finish with a bit of oak spice and caramel.
Adding a dash of water tunes-down the pepper, while releasing sweet notes, making it easier to sip.
Is it good?
Talisker 10 is a creamy and full flavored whisky. This is a peaty whisky but not as heavy as some of the Islay malts as it does not overpowers other flavors.
Talisker strikes a nice balance between smoke, salinity, peppery notes and honey-like sweetness.
Overall, Talisker 10 is not an entry-level single malt but it makes a solid option for true whisky aficionados that like peat in still moderate amounts in their drinks.
Talisker 10 facts:
- Aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
- Rated Best Buy by Wine Enthusiast.
- Awarded with 94 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013.
- Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.
- Talisker is an Island Whisky crafted in the Isle of Skye since 1830; founded by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill.
Which is more smoky: Talisker or Lagavulin?
Lagavulin hits harder
On a 1 to 5 scale the Lagavulin scores a 4 and Talisker 3 making the Lagavulin the smokier choice.
Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 10: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 10: Which is better?
Lagavulin 16 is not an easy whisky but is one of the best
- Lagavulin 16 is one of the best whiskies of its kind for the consumer capable of dealing with a strong peaty flavor profile.
- Talisker 10 is not a consolation prize for the aficionado not willing to pay for the Lagavulin 16. Talisker is also a fantastic dram with a moderate flavor profile but with a combination of mineral and sweet notes that make it quite good.
- If you are new to peaty whiskies I would suggest you to start with the Talisker 10 and build your taste for this type of whisky one step at a time.
Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 10: Similarities
- Both whiskies are labeled as single malts. Single malt Scotch must be made exclusively from malted barley, distilled using pot stills at a single distillery and aged for no less than 3 years.
- These whiskies offer smoky notes coming from the peats used to dry the malted barley. Lagavulin 16 is far more peaty than Talisker 10.
- Both whiskies were aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
- These spirits are Island Whiskies, as the Lagavulin is crafted in Islay and Talisker in Skye. Island whiskies are single malts produced on the islands surrounding the perimeter of the Scottish mainland. These whiskies are often rich in mineral notes due to the endless supply of saline water.
- Both whiskies use caramel coloring. This practice is allowed by the set of regulations that govern Scotch whisky but some traditionalists frown upon it.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!