Some good friends would claim that the 16 is going down but to be honest, I've always heard that and last time I tried it (it was a +/-2019) I enjoyed it rather a lot. The very early 'Classic Malts' were rather superior indeed in my book (late 1980s, early 1990s) but since those glorious days, things have remained relatively consistent. We'll do this quickly.
Nose: impeccably tarry and rubbery, with this feeling of unpacking a new scuba diving suit (I've seen some would say a new SM outfit but I'm lacking experience). Then oranges and walnuts from the sherry, seawater, dried kelp, black olive brine, lapsang souchong and lit cigar. I find this impeccable and very, guess what, 'Lagavulin 16'.
Mouth: absolutely excellent. Bright and rich, tarry, with excellent sherriness, liquorice, salt, olives, marmalade… It's even got something refreshing.
Finish: smoke and olives, touches of curry and cardamom. Perfect.
Comments: Lagavulin 16 is my go-to malt whenever I'm at a restaurant or a bar that's not a 'whisky bar'. I think I'll maintain that tradition. An exquisite batch, perhaps a little less 'sweet' than earlier recent offerings.