My wife gave me a bottle of Lagavulin 16 YO (a southern-Islay single malt) for our last anniversary. It’s I enjoyed it immensely, and I’m not sure how she will top it next year.
Appearance: Deep amber gold
Nose: deceptively rich; a slow build-up of smoke with hints of barbeque steak, subtle maritime breeze, and elements of tobacco, tea, heather and citrus.
Palate: rich, velvet smoke, well-steeped tea, malt, a pinch of brine, and a crack of pepper.
Finish: long, luxurious, a hint of peppery-sweetness, fading to a heavenly, smoky dryness.
This is a complex, rich, well-balanced dram, with a hefty smoke component. I found that letting the sample open up for several minutes prior to tasting helped liberate the full spectrum of its constituents; there is a lot happening in the glass, and it should be savored slowly and peacefully. I’ve now finished the bottle, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear after finishing the last drop.