Thank you all very much!! I'm learning so much! From what you are all describing it sounds like he would prefer the 12 or the 16 - I do know he is not a huge fan of sherry so that is helpful re: the DE...and given my limited reference point (the only whisky I know he likes for sure is Caol Ila - at least the 15 year old), it sounds like the 12 (and 16 and 8) would be more to his liking.
I really appreciate everyone' s help! I'm leaning towards the 12 at this point but I'll report back with what I wind up purchasing.
I can't help you there as I've only ever tried the 2019, and the only review I've seen that compares multiple years of the whisky doesn't go up to 2018 unfortunately. You can view it here if you wanna see how the 2015 compares to years 2011-2017.
There's a website called whiskybase that is, well, as the name suggests it's an excellent database where you can find info on almost every whisky ever existed on Earth.
It can be a bit daunting for the non-whisky-initiate, but you can just consult these 2 pages that refer to the Lagavulin 12 2015 and 2018. Please note this is a public website where everyone can express their opinion freely, but it tends to be fairly
The 2018 has an average of 1% inferior to the 2015, also the 2015 has been extremely highly rated by pretty much any of the most famous gurus / websites. For some reasons, most reviewers stop at 2017, hence I couldn't find much about the 2018.
Long story short, if I was to purchase this bottle either for me or as a present, based on the opinions I see I'd go for the 2015 based on the fact I can see the 2018 for $114 and the 2015 for $139.
Within that $114 budget, I would certainly consider something quite extravagant, but absolutely amazing, which is this: https://www.michaeltownewines.com/sku14258.html, a blend by an extremely famous blender (well, among whisky nerds) based in London which effectively is an Ardbeg peated whisky mixed with other peated whiskies and a few drops of fruity ones. You can consider this a plan B in case the Laga 12 sells out or something.
It's worth pointing out as well that the Lagavulin 12yr is known for being consistently good. Certain years are better than others for sure, that's always especially the case when dealing with Cask Strength whiskies, but it might be best to not get too hung up on obtaining the absolute best vintage of this whisky if you're not certain that your husband is an expert on Islay whiskies.
For an expert/connoisseur I would say absolutely seek out the best, but I would guess a regular fan will be wowed by these whiskies whatever year you choose, so you might be better off going for the cheapest bottling. It's easy to fall into that trap of chasing the best vintage down the rabbit hole, but really only a proper hard core whisky fan is going to appreciate paying $20-$40 for the potentially slight improvements that an older bottling may bring to the table,
Thank you - and thank you Big Shing for the point - it is true - very easy to disappear into the internet searching out what seems to be the best vintage,etc.
I'll go with the 12 from 2018 it looks like given price and availability and review. If I look any more I might wind up having more questions and might consider buying a second bottle, which could only lead down another rabbit hole!
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