Back to scotch, and one hell of a scotch this time. I am very excited about the Lagavulin 16. This is a scotch produced at what is believed to be one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. This whisky is produced at the Port Ellen malting site on the Isle of Islay. This distillery was founded in 1816 by John Johnston. The name is pronounced Laga-voolin, for the Gaelic Laggan Mhouillon, meaning “the hollow where the mill is”.
According to the box, we’re looking at a whisky that receives the slowest distillation of any Islay malt, 10 plus hours before spending 16 years in old oak casks. The casks are second-fill American oak, the effect of which is to smooth out the flavour and sweeten it slightly.
Visually, this whisky is a deep, dark gold. Its legs run medium in size and relatively slow.
On the nose, wow! This is strong despite its alcohol content of 43%. It is rich with smoke and peat and the smell of Earl Gray tea with sugar and milk. A touch of fruit towards the end.
On the palate, it is fairly smooth. A bit of fruit at first. Then peaty and smoky, woody as well.
The finish is woody, peaty, smoky, and a bit of almond. Very complex.
A bit of water and some more intensity to the smell. Still strong in smoke and peat, but picks up some more of the fruit.
On the tongue, the fruit comes on more strong now and is again followed by rich smoke and peat flavours.
The finish is long, bold, complex, full of fruit, smoke, and peat. The box says it has an “ambrosial” finish. If I was unaware as to what that meant before, I am less ignorant now.
Overall, this whisky is a fine drinking experience. Complex and bold without being overbearing and unnecessarily strong. If you can find it, definitely do add it to your collection and to mine. It is currently available in both Quebec and Ontario, with Ontario charging about $5 more for the bottle.