About two months ago, I was able to get my hands on a 50 ml of the Lagavulin 12 from the 80s. While some lament about the "fall" of Lagavulin, I found it to be equally wonderful, but not better. It is more intense, straight ahead in its peat, direct and more powerful than the 16. The 16 though has more balance, some sweetness at the end of the palate moving towards the finish that I like. I also agree that the current 16 is more to my liking than the Distillers Edition, at least the year that I have. From what I have read, there is a good deal of batch variation from year to year. I also enjoy a 5yo "Bastard" malt (Vintage Islay) that is reported to be Lagavulin. Very pungent and direct, not as spirity as one would think (with time, see things do change for the better once in a while when the bottle is open).