Laphroaig 16 Year Aged Whisky Tasting Review

My experience with the Laphroaig 16-Year Aged Whisky Tasting was bold and uncompromising, a dram that is sure to challenge and reward the adventurous palate. Laphroaig, a name that strikes fear in the hearts of the faint of tongue and brings joy to peat enthusiasts, hails from Islay, the southernmost island of Scotland. Established in 1815, Laphroaig is renowned for its heavily peated malts, a result of drying their malted barley over burning peat fires. This unique process imbues their whisky with a powerful smoky character, making Laphroaig a single malt that is impossible to forget.

Unlike some of Laphroaig’s core expressions, the 16-Year Aged Whisky is a limited edition matured exclusively in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. This maturation process adds another layer of complexity to the already distinctive Laphroaig profile.

Average retail price $139.00

Laphroaig 16-Year Aged Whisky Tasting Notes


Color: Expect a rich, golden amber color in the glass. The 16-year maturation adds depth to the hue, hinting at the complexities within.

Legs: The viscosity of this Laphroaig is likely to be medium to full-bodied. Look for slow-moving “legs” that form on the sides of the glass and trickle down after swirling, indicating a heavier dram.


Aromas: The initial assault on the nose is likely to be a bold combination of smoke and medicinal notes, characteristic of Laphroaig. Look for aromas of burning peat, iodine, and seaweed. Beneath the smoke, hints of vanilla, citrus (orange, lime), and even some grassy or earthy notes may emerge. The influence of the first-fill bourbon barrels might add a touch of honey or caramel sweetness.

Complexity: Laphroaig is known for its bold and distinctive profile. While smoke dominates the initial experience, the 16-year expression offers a surprising complexity. Hints of fruit, vanilla, and underlying oak notes add another dimension to the aroma, creating an intriguing interplay.


First Sip: The initial taste is likely to be powerful and full-bodied, mirroring the nose. Expect a strong hit of smoke, along with medicinal notes, iodine, and perhaps a touch of ash. The influence of the bourbon casks might introduce a hint of sweetness (vanilla, honey) that complements the smoke.

Development: As the whisky sits on the tongue, the flavors begin to evolve. The peat smoke might become slightly more subdued, allowing hints of citrus (orange, lime) and some unexpected fruitiness (starfruit, gooseberry) to emerge. Hints of oak char and a subtle oily texture may also develop.

Complexity: The balance between smoke, sweetness, and other subtle flavors is what makes the 16 Year Aged Whisky so interesting. While undeniably bold and smoky, the additional complexity from the maturation and cask influence creates a truly captivating experience.


Length: The finish of this Laphroaig 16 is long and lingering.

Flavors: Expect the smoke and medicinal notes to linger on the tongue, slowly fading over time. Hints of citrus, oak spice, and a touch of saltiness may also be present.

Overall Impression: The finish is powerful and satisfying, leaving a lasting impression of the whisky’s intensity and complexity.


Laphroaig 16-Year Aged Whisky develops a dramatic interplay between the powerful peat smoke, hints of sweetness, and subtle fruit notes, creating a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Recommendation: This Laphroaig is not for the faint of heart. If you enjoy heavily peated Islay malts, then this 16-year expression is a must-try. For those new to peated whisky, it might be advisable to start with a less intense Laphroaig expression before diving into this one.

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Do you love the bold smokiness of Islay malts? 

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