Photograph: larsomat

Lagavulin Distillery

Lagavulin Distillery is located on the island of Islay. It has a powerful, peat-smoke aroma. Described as being robustly full bodied, well-balanced and smooth with a slight sweetness on the palate.

The standard Lagavulin single malt is 16 years old (43%), though they regularly release a 12-year-old cask strength variety, Distiller’s edition, finished in Pedro Ximénez casks as well as 25 and 30 year-old varieties. A recent 21-year-old bottling, matured solely in first fill sherry casks has been extremely well received by enthusiasts.

Lagavulin is produced by White Horse Distillers which is owned by United Distillers & Vintners which in turn is owned by Diageo plc. It is marketed under their Classic Malts brand.

The name of Lagavulin is an anglicization of the Gaelic lag a’mhuilin, meaning “hollow by the mill”.

History

The distillery of Lagavulin officially dates from 1816, when John Jonston and Archibald Campbell constructed two distilleries on the site. One of them became Lagavulin, taking over the other – which one is not exactly known. Records show illicit distillation in a least ten illegal distilleries on the site as far back as 1742, however. In the 19th century several legal battles ensued with their neighbour Laphroaig, brought about after the distiller at Lagavulin, Sir Peter Mackie, leased the Laphroaig distillery. It is said that Mackie attempted to copy Laphroaig’s style. Since the water and peat at Lagavulin’s premises was different from that at Laphroaig’s, the result was different. The Lagavulin distillery is located in the town of the same name.