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Lagavulin 16: no smoke and mirrors, just a world class Scotch

When looking forward to the new year, one must also review their accomplishments in the last one. To begin on a positive note, a reward may be in order. Make that reward Lagavulin 16 year-old Scotch whisky.

This classic single malt is distilled on the southern banks of the island of Islay, Scotland. The only thing routine about it is its ability to win awards.

Like most Islay Scotches, its main distinction is its smoky, peaty character. Lagavulin is not for the timid. While probably the most pungent of all the Islay malts, it offers a depth and flavor that inspires extreme loyalty among its drinkers.

It carries one of the smokiest noses from Islay, with touches of Lapsang Souchong tea, sweet spices, mature sherry, and vanilla. It is thick and rich on the palate, displaying a balanced mouthful of malt and sherry combined with a delightful fruited sweetness, and powerful amounts of peat and oak.

Lagavulin’s finish is long and spicy, lingering with pleasant notes of figs, dates, vanilla, and of course, more peat smoke.

If you are a first timer, allow it to sit in your mouth for the flavors to burst out and grab you.

I discovered Lagavulin a few years ago at the end of a birthday dinner at Jax’s Fish House. Try it with oysters or smoked salmon to discover new depths of flavor.

Lagavulin also offers a Distiller’s Edition for about ten dollars more. It uses the 16 as its base, but includes the finishing of its aging in Pedro Ximénez Spanish sherry casks for the addition of a sweet, vinous flavor which adds complexity and compliments the intensely smoky notes of this legendary whisky.

The Lagavulin 16 is currently at its lowest point in our history, during our massive Scotch Sale, running now through Wednesday, February 1st. It’s the perfect time to to try something new, or stock up on a favorite, especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.