Many consider Lagavulin to be the definitive Islay whisky. It is one of the heavily-peated whiskies of the island, with the distillery located on the south-eastern shore of Islay. The whisky is almost exclusively matured in ex-bourbon casks, and maintains robust, smoky, and maritime notes.
Lagavulin is a very popular choice amongst whisky connoisseurs. In 1988 Laguvulin 16 Year Old achieved global acclaim when it was selected as one of Scotland’s ‘Six Classic Malts.’ The 16 Year Old is widely seen as one of the finest whiskies available, with supply often not meeting the full demand.
Lagavulin is the drink of choice of Parks and Recreation character Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Offerman has become an unofficial brand ambassador for Lagavulin, appearing in a series of YouTube videos for the distillery.
In the 1920s the S.S. Pibroch, a Clyde ‘Puffer’, was relied upon to transport barley, coal, and empty casks to Lagavulin, and returned to Glasgow with filled casks of the whisky.
At the start of the Second World War in 1939, women were drafted in to work the distillery until 1941 when the distillery closed for the duration of the war.
Illicit distillation on the site appeared as early as 1742, but it was not until 1816 that John Johnston converted the buildings that it became a legal distillery. Lagavulin comes from the Gaelic Lag ‘a’ Mhuilinn’, which translates to ‘hollow of the mill.’ In 1974 the distillery floor maltings were decommissioned and now form part of the visitor centre.
Lagavulin is known for flavours of...
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