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Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 18: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 18 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

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, Lagavulin Distiller’s

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.

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.

Talisker 18

NoseSmoke, ripe fruit
PalateSmoke, bacon, ripe fruit
FinishLong, smoke, oak spice
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toTalisker 10, Talisker Distiller’s

Spoiler alert: This is one of my favorite whiskies which I consider to be the best Talisker so you can stop reading right here!

Talisker is an Island Whisky and these malts are famous for their smoky characters although Talisker is quite restrained on the smoke when compared to brands like Ardbeg or Laphroaig.

The nose hits with smoke, followed by a nice fruity note.

On the palate, the Talisker 18 displays a good creamy body. Flavor delivers light smoke up-front, along a meaty note that tastes like smoked bacon, ripe fruit and a bit of brine and oak.

The finish lingers with soft smoke, along a bit of oak spice, salt and very little warmth making a incredibly tasty and satisfying malt.

It has a nice oily texture, is briny, peaty and meaty without overwhelming the fruit and spice accomplishing a good balance.

This whisky drinks nicely neat but if you find it too peaty add a dash of water, that will tune it down a bit while making it sweeter and easier to sip.

Overall, the Talisker 18 is a great smoky Scotch with still moderate peat presence product of the long aging, well balanced against fruity and spicy notes making a great “everyday whisky“.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Aged for 18 years in traditional oak casks.
  • “Best Whisky in the World” at the World Whiskies Awards in 2007.
  • Talisker is an Island Whisky crafted in the Isle of Skye since 1830; founded by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill.

What do Lagavulin and Talisker have in common?

Both are owned by London-based Diageo

These brands are part of Diageo’s extensive portfolio that includes over 200 names in a wide range of spirits.

Both Lagavulin and Talisker contribute with malts to Johnnie Walker labels.

Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 18: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Lagavulin 16$100
Talisker 18$145

Lagavulin 16 vs Talisker 18: Which is better?

Lagavulin 16 is higher on the smoke

WhiskyLagavulin 16Talisker 18

These malts are quite good but are aimed at different whisky aficionados:

  • Lagavulin 16 is much richer in smoke, offering a blast of it up-front to later reward you with incredible caramel sweetness.
  • Talisker 18 is smoky but it’s just a note and not the main theme, letting you appreciate better rich ripe fruit and meaty notes along the signature peppery hit of Talisker whiskies.

These are two of the best in their type and deserve a place in the cabinet of a true Scotch lover.

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