Two hundred years after local farmer John Johnston and Archibald Campbell opened their distillery on the Islay seafront, Lagavulin is a name renowned the world over and a force to be reckoned with, in the market and in the glass. Lagavulin 25 Year Old celebrates the milestone bicentennial, with a one off release of 8,000 individually numbered bottles. Matured exclusively in ex-sherry casks and bottled at a natural cask strength, this is the first 25 year old expression since Diageo’s Special Releases series in 2002.

This expression follows on from the release of Lagavulin 8 Year Old in March of this year which kicked off the #Lagavulin200 festivities as a tribute to whisky writer Alfred Barnard who visited the distillery and wrote in his 1887 book The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom that “no prettier or romantic spot could have been chosen for a distillery” and described the 8 year old whisky of the day as “exceptionally fine”.

The new 25 Year Old celebrates the 21 Distillery Managers from Lagavulin’s founding in 1816, the name of each etched on the bottle below those of its two founders. The current post-holder, Georgie Crawford, said “For two centuries, Lagavulin has been crafted through the hands of hard-working Islay residents; from peat cutters to warehousemen; the characters that make Lagavulin what it is today share a passion for producing an award-winning Islay dram.”

Priced at £799 RRP, the celebratory bottle aims “to bring as many people to Islay and Islay to as many people from around the globe as possible to celebrate years of craft and passion,” in the words of Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach. With tasting notes of “bitter-sweet and gingery” and “intense, with masses of charred wood, oak-smoked meats, honey, burnt treacle tart and ash,” this is expression is sure to delight fans of the Islay distillery as a fitting celebration of its history and legacy.