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Lagavulin 8 vs Lagavulin 16: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Lagavulin 8 vs 16 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Lagavulin 8

  • Nose: Popcorn, roasted nuts, wood, burnt sugar
  • Palate: Smoke, oak, caramel, herrings
  • Finish: Smoke, ash, apples, almonds
  • Alcohol content: 96 proof (48% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Laphroaig 10, Ardbeg 10


The nose is high on smoke, with hints of popcorn, roasted nuts, oak and burnt sugar.

The palate offers a nice creamy feel making it chewy. Flavor is strong on the smoke, but once you get through that initial layer of smoke there is rich caramel sweetness, along a note that brings herrings.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, bringing more smoke, along cigar ash, along apple and almond.

Is it good?

This malt is incredibly well balanced. Strong smoky notes but enough caramel to make it sweet and supremely rewarding.

This is a rich, complex and flavorful whisky that displays some of the mineral notes characteristic of Islay whiskies, along sweetness behind a thick layer of smoke.

Drink it neat and if you find it too smoky tune it down with a splash of water, just a few drops are enough to tame this whisky… a bit.

Definitely not the easiest whisky as it demands a persistent drinker to go through a brick of smoke.

Lagavulin 8 facts:

  • Aged for 8 years in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • Double gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Lagavulin 8 was introduced in 2016 to celebrate the distillery’s 200th anniversary, success was such that it became a regular in the Lagavulin lineup.

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: Ardbeg 10, Oban 14


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.

The long aging period diminished the smoky notes a bit whilst adding the sweet vanilla from the bourbon barrels. 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.

Consider further options by reading my post with the list of similar whiskies to the Lagavulin 16!

Lagavulin 16 facts:

  • Lagavulin is aged for 16 years using ex-bourbon barrels.
  • 6 Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • “Best Single Malt Whisky (13-19 Years)” at the 2013 Competition.

Lagavulin 8 vs Lagavulin 16: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Lagavulin 8$65
Lagavulin 16$80

Lagavulin 8 vs Lagavulin 16: Which is better?

Lagavulin 16 is more moderate on the smoke making it easier to sip

WhiskeyLagavulin 8Lagavulin 16
  • Lagavulin 16 is one of the best whiskies in its class, it comes with a complex and delicious flavor profile with what I call the “right amount of smoke” that allows you to fully appreciate the intense flavors.
  • Lagavulin 8 is a delicious peaty-monster, much smokier than the 16, that demands a very specific type of aficionado to be capable to taste a flavorful Scotch past the smoke.

Regardless of what you choose rest assured that both are incredible whiskies and among the best in their respective categories.


This brand crafts some of the best single malt whiskies in the world. A single malt is the type of whisky exclusively made from malted barley, at a single distillery and aged for a minimum of three years.

Another characteristic of Lagavulin’s whiskies is a strong smoky note coming from the peats used to dry the malted barley.

The level of smoke these whiskies show is up to 20 time higher than what a typical Scotch whisky offers, therefore you must be acquainted to this type of spirit to fully appreciate it.

Lagavulin has been in business since 1816 in the Scottish island of Islay (pronounced “Ai-luh”) home of other distinguished distillers such as: Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Kilchoman and Laphroaig; not bad for an island of just 240 square miles.

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