It IS Lagavulin!!! A Review of Lagavulin’s Entire Core Range…

I’m usually the guy poking fun at whisky PR and pricing and the crazy premiumization taking place in the world of whisky. And yet, Diageo’s work with Nick Offerman is just the type of commercials that were shot for the aficionado, and will leave even the most diehard malthead with a smile on his face (even when he notices that Nick crossing the street in Bowmore was edited in before the ferry ride to Islay….). So far Nick Offerman did work with Lagavulin and Oban, and I hope more is in the making.

If you haven’t seen the video, here it is:

Lagavulin has the most limited core range of all distilleries, holding a single expression: the 16 year old. A yearly release of a 12 year old as part of the Special Releases usually marks one of two islands of sanity in those releases (together with the unpeated Caol Ila, they’re priced at around £80), and a running limited edition of a PX finished Distiller’s Edition complete the regular offering of the distillery. Additionally, a yearly Feis Ile edition is issued (the 2014 edition was stellar, by the way) and one for the Islay Jazz Festival (held in September), and special bottlings appear in the annual Special Releases series, including last year’s second highest ever price release of the Lagavulin 37, overshadowed with this year’s release of Port Ellen.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Until 1960, there used to be a second distillery on the grounds. It was named Malt Mill, and had two rather small stills and its old maltings house today’s visitor center.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Lagavulin 16 (43% ABV)

Appearance: Bronze with a reddish hue, slow forming and fast falling legs.

Nose: Islay wet peat, sherry, woodsmoke, dark raisins, flowers, a savory note and sweet notes of cedar.

Palate: Wood fire, sherry sweetness without the associated dry fruits, sweet pastry notes and light bitter citrus.

Linger: Burning wood, smoke and mild sweetness. A long warmness down the gullet with peat on the tongue, light spice in the back of the throat and a light dryness remaining.


One of my favorite daily drams, it’s always a good choice for an interesting nosing and a satisfying sip. No doubt, this is one of the better entry level whiskys by Diageo, right up there with Clynelish 14 and Oban 14.

Clynelish 14 was the first review in this series (all the way back on January 16th), and it’s fitting for the Lagavulin 16 to be the last entry in this series of entry level malts. Like many of the review series on the blog, this is an issue to be revisited in the future.

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