I am comparing this standard Lagavulin 16 (bottled 2022, distilled and barreled mid 2000s) to a standard Lagavulin 16 (bottled 2008, distilled and barreled early 1990s, see ID 45871).
The difference between the two whiskys is 3 points and, as with the comparison between the two Uigeadails from 2005 and 2022 (WB208543 and
WB63187) is also confirmed here. The old bottlings were much more fruity, the peat smoke was only subtle and reserved players in a harmonious Islaywhisky with maritime salt.
The new bottlings are much plumper, the smoke is always in the foreground and seems a bit burnt. The palate is always clearly bitter in the newer bottlings from the wood of the young barrels.
The aroma profile at the beginning is very similar and that's good at first, because the Lagavulin 16 simply has a super ingenious profile and is a bank. After just 5 minutes, the differences are noticeable. The old 2008 has only a very mild and restrained peat smoke and the sherry casks offer beautiful fruity notes of sweet oranges and tangerines. The smoke of the 2022, on the other hand, is a little more burned and in the foreground, which means that the 2008 is of course much more harmonious.
I don't want to downplay the 2022 because the Lagavulin 16 is one of the best standards and one of my favorite whiskys. But compared to the old bottling, it just seems a lot clumsier and simpler. The aromas (heavy smoke in the foreground, simple sherry aromas and then wood in the background) just aren't as round, structured and harmonious as the old bottling. That's a good 3 point difference in the nose and the old 2008 gets softer and softer over time, some sparkling fruity notes of tangerine and lemon as well as salty-maritime coastal notes from Islay take over - everything blends wonderfully softly and harmoniously.
2022er: The palate starts with a light wood note and then comes a surge of sweet aromas. The salty-maritime coastal flavors are not particularly pronounced. Here then a lot of wood behind and also the alcohol tingles a bit. The difference to the 2008 is clear. Clearly fresher and younger casks were used here, which simply make the whisky appear much rougher and simpler. Again three points difference.
2008er: The finish is almost mellow, there is a lot more salty sweetness here and the sherry sweetness isn't as plump. The peat smoke notes are only in the background and only come to the fore again on the finish. The two whiskys differ most on the palate.
2022: The mouthfeel less oily, but still good, but also much more distinctive. The finish is of medium length, but there is also plenty of smoke and alcohol in the throat, making it difficult to assess the real length of the finish.
2008er: The mouthfeel is oily and sweet-salty, very smooth and the finish is medium-long.