Laphroaig and Lagavulin: One Mile of Distance but Worlds Apart

by Oliver Klimek on February 8, 2010

Perhaps it’s only a personal thing, but there is one strange phenomenon about those two Islay malts that I have encountered several times now: Whenever I taste them one after another, the second will always taste not as good as the first.

And this happens regardless of the order. Laphroaig first: Lagavulin won’t taste good. Lagavulin first: Laphroaig won’t taste good.

Both are excellent malts, and even if you pointed a gun at me, I would not be able to pick one as a favourite. But somehow they seem to be incompatible, at least for my personal taste. The in-your-face peat and medicinality of the Laphroaig and the fruity sherry character of the Lagavulin repel themselves like identical poles of two magnets.

The two distilleries are only one mile apart on the south coast of Islay. Both malts are heavily peated, and  yet it seems that they are like cat and dog.

Do you feel the same or is my experience utterly subjective?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wolfandwhisky February 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I haven’t tried them back to back, but it also makes me wonder what it would be like to mix in the Balvenie 17 Islay Cask.

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Thomas W November 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I agree with you – in that I would not drink both Laphro and Laga during a single “whisky evening”. And to me, this is also the case with the combination of Laphroaig and Ardbeg (the pre-Glenmo distilled ones, not the later ones).

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