Lagavulin Distillery

Lagavulin Distillery

Lagavulin Distillery overlooks the ruins of Dunyveg Castle, in a little hay on the south coast of Islay, where the Lord of the Isles kept his fleet of galleys.

In Gaelic the name means 'the hollow where the mill is and in the late 1700s there were known to have been anything up to ten illicit stills operating in the bay.

Two earlier distilleries already established here were amalgamated to create Lagavulin in 1837.

The present Lagavulin Distillery was built by the Graham brothers who were partners to James Logan Mackie, uncle of Sir Peter Mackie, the creator of White Horse.

In the late 19th century Alfred Barnard remarked in his journal that there are only a few of the Scotch distillers that can turn out spirit for use as single whiskies, and that made at Lagavulin can claim to be one of the most prominent.' Restless Peter' Mackie was a clever and innovative man and, in 1908, restored some of the old buildings to create a tiny distillery named Malt Mill, which produced a smoky whisky to challenge that made at Lagavulin, next door.

This operation was closed in 1960 to accommodate a larger still house for the main operation. In 1927. three years after Mackie's death, the company joined DCL but retained the licence for the distillery.

Now Lagavulin is the best selling of United Distillers' 'Classic Malts'. It won Best Single Malt and a gold medal at the 1994 IWSC awards, and gold medals in 1995 and 1996.

Tasting NotesLagavulin Distillery

Prop @ 16 Years (43%): Deep amber colour, and a nose like Lapsang Souchong tea - scented smoke, dry, toasted, exotic and well balanced. The flavour begins sweet, malty and slightly sherried, and becomes dry and smoky, finishing bitter with lingering peat-smoke and some salt.

SMWS @ 15 Years (63.3%): Aged in oloroso butts and the colour of old mahogany. Neat, the nose is of sherry, soap-flakes and fudge. With water, a powerful scent of wet-suits is first noted, then marzipan, exotic smoke, caramelised sugar, heather stalks and burnt toast.

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