Time for another whisky showdown! This edition’s heavyweight contenders consists of Aberlour 16 year old and Lagavulin 16 year old. These are both excellent whiskies on their own, but a head to head should prove interesting in identifying any special traits to set them apart.
They are very similar in colour in colour. The Aberlour is slightly more towards copper, but the two are almost indistinguishable from one another unless looking very carefully at each glass. The legs on the Aberlour run thicker and slower.
On the nose, the two are unmistakenly different. The peat and smoke on the Lagavulin is strong. The Aberlour gives off aromas of green apple and fruit in stark contrast.
On the palate, the Aberlour is much sweeter. Its soft blend of fruits and honey contrasts starkly with the Lagavulin’s attack of smoke and peat, even though the Lagavulin hits the tongue with some fruity notes at first.
The finish in the Aberlour contrasts its honey and watermelon to the Lagavulin’s smoke, peat, and oak. They both have the woody taste on the finish and the Aberlour adds some nuts and smoke to the experience, but not nearly to the same degree as the Lagavulin.
Overall, each whisky is strong and the distinct profile of each is evident throughout the tasting experience. They are both very coherent and complex whiskies and deserve a spot on any serious whisky drinker’s shelf. Personal preference plays heavily in deciding a victor and I hesitate to do so…I will say that on this particular day I found the Aberlour quite satisfying and more to my liking than the Lagavulin. However, on a cold winter night, the peated Lagavulin may be a better companion.