We’re having a good ol’ look at Lagavulin today, and we’re also giving you the chance to win a trip to the legendary distillery; including a tour, tasting, bottles and even some peat cutting!
Throughout 2016, the Lagavulin distillery on the Isle of Islay has been celebrating its 200th Anniversary. If 200 years of delicious well-peated whisky production isn’t something worth a year-long celebration, we don’t know what is! Fancy a trip to the Lagavulin distillery to see where they’ve been distilling for all these years, along with a whisky tasting, peat-cutting experience and signed bottles? Then you’ll want to enter our competition to win all of that!!!
Anyone who buys a full bottle of Lagavulin whisky before Christmas Day will be entered into our competition to win a trip for two to Lagavulin! On the first day of the trip, the winner and guest will tour the Lagavulin distillery and warehouse and enjoy a Lagavulin tasting, and on the second day they’ll partake in a peat cutting experience and visit Port Ellen. The prize includes return travel to Islay from any UK address and one night’s accommodation (with breakfast), as well as lunch and dinner and a bottle of Lagavulin 8 Year Old – 200th Anniversary Edition for the winner and guest and a bottle of Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival for the winner – all three signed by Lagavulin Distillery Manager Georgie Crawford! The competition is open now, so go ahead and enter (no purchase necessary – see Terms & Conditions below)!
UPDATE: Congratulations to John Ashby, who was our lucky winner! Enjoy your visit to Lagavulin!
So, let’s take a gander at those 200 years that Lagavulin have been celebrating, shall we? Lagavulin is one of a trio of distilleries that you’ll find on the south coast of Islay (along with Ardbeg and Laphroaig – together sometimes known as the Kildalton distilleries). It was founded in 1816 by John Johnston, although there had been illicit distilling going on in the area since 1742 – naughty! A second distillery named Ardmore was founded shortly afterwards nearby, though this became part of Lagavulin a few decades later.
In 1836, John Johnston died and Lagavulin was bought by Alexander Graham, a spirits merchant from Glasgow. Following that, in 1861, the distillery came under the ownership of James Mackie, who brought in his nephew Peter Mackie to work at Lagavulin shortly afterwards. Peter Mackie became a popular figure in the whisky world, known for working incredibly hard indeed, to the point where he earned the nickname Restless Peter. His endeavours included being a force behind White Horse (who, of course, produced the popular White Horse blend), founding Craigellachie in 1890 and creating the Malt Mill distillery alongside Lagavulin in some disused distillery buildings in 1908.
Malt Mill produced whisky until 1962, when it was closed, but Lagavulin continued on afterwards – incorporating two of the Malt Mill stills into their own stillhouse. They decommissioned their own floor maltings in 1974 and they began to get their malt from Port Ellen. The distillery ran a two day working week until the 1980s, which has resulted in some problems meeting the high demand for their whisky over the years. Lagavulin was one of the six whiskies marketed as part of the ‘Classic Malts of Scotland’ (along with Cragganmore, Dalwhinne, Glenkinchie, Oban and Talisker) when it was launched in 1988.
In recent years, Lagavulin has received a fair amount of time on the silver screen and television – it was referenced in 28 Days Later and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, and Parks & Recreation’s Ron Swanson often enjoys a glass of Lagavulin 16 Year Old. Nick Offerman, the actor who plays Swanson, is a big fan of Lagavulin and even made a video of himself drinking a glass in silence by a log fire for 45 minutes. Essential watching. Not optional.
So, seems only right to taste a few Lagavulins to round this off, doesn’t it? Let’s have a look at the ever-dependable Lagavulin 16 Year Old, the Distillers Edition and an 8 year old expression released as part of their 200th Anniversary celebrations (all three of which will get you entered into the aforementioned competition should you buy a bottle!).
Tasting Note for Lagavulin 16 Year Old
Nose: More like Lapsang Souchong tea than Lapsang Souchong! One of the smokiest noses from Islay. It’s big, very, very concentrated, and redolent of iodine, sweet spices, good, mature sherry and creamy vanilla. Stunning.
Palate: Very thick and rich. A massive mouthful of malt and sherry with good fruity sweetness, but also a wonderful sweetness. Big, powerful peat and oak.
Finish: Long, spicy finish, figs, dates, peat smoke, vanilla.
Nose: Peat and iodine go toe to toe with sticky dried fruits including sweet Corinth raisins, but they all join together and become friends.
Palate: Vanilla, rum and raisin, rich smoke, juicy Sherry, hazelnut, sticking plasters…
Finish: Long with cocoa, porcini mushroom and toffee.
Tasting Note for Lagavulin 8 Year Old – 200th Anniversary Edition
Nose: Well-smoked malt, tar and kippers, with a side of honey-glazed dried apricot. Growing notes of vanilla custard and a slight nod to cookie dough.
Palate: Pear drops, crumbly biscuits, waves of heavy smoke. Subtle flashes of sea salt every once in a while as it develops.
Finish: Long and quite drying. A touch of ash and crushed peppercorn.
Terms & Conditions
- Terms & Conditions
- – The competition is not open to any employees or affiliates of Atom Supplies Limited (trading as Master of Malt) or any other company in the same group of companies, their family members or friends. The competition is open to private individuals only.
- – The prize comprises a trip to Islay for the winner and his or her nominated guest and includes:
- – return travel to Islay from any address in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland;
- – lunch, a distillery and warehouse tour and a tasting experience on the day of arrival;
- – dinner and one night’s bed and breakfast;
- – a visit to Port Ellen, to include a peat cutting experience, followed by lunch and the return flight on the second day; and
- – a signed bottle of Lagavulin 200th anniversary 8 year old for each of the winner and his or her nominated guest, and a signed bottle of Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival for the winner.
- – The prize must be taken during 2017. The prize does not include travel insurance, food and drink (except as noted), tax or personal expenses. Any other costs incurred in addition to those set out above and which are incidental to the fulfilment or enjoyment of the prize (including, for example, onward travel) are the responsibility of the winner. The winner will be responsible for ensuring that he or she and any person travelling with the winner are available to travel and hold valid passports, any necessary visas and travel documents for the trip in question. Dates once agreed with the winner cannot be changed. The prize cannot be extended or supplemented.
- – Subject to these terms and conditions, each person who completes the purchase of any 50cl or 70cl bottle of whisky distilled at Lagavulin Distillery from the Master of Malt website in accordance with Master of Malt’s normal terms of business during the period which commences at 12:00:00 on 14 November 2016, and which expires at 23:59:59 on 24 December 2016 (such times inclusive) (such period being the Competition Period) (such purchase being a Qualifying Purchase) shall be automatically entered into the competition. Multiple entries are permitted, encouraged even!
- – References in these terms and conditions to the completion of the purchase of a product shall be construed as a reference to the time at which the purchaser receives an email from Master of Malt which confirms that we have received the order. Any person who cancels a Qualifying Purchase, by any method whatsoever and whether before or after dispatch, shall be disqualified. Any person whose purchase is not made in accordance with Master of Malt’s terms of business shall be disqualified. Any person whose Qualifying Purchase is cancelled by Master of Malt owing to factors outside of Master of Malt’s control (including import restrictions) shall be disqualified. Disqualification may take place outside of the Competition Period. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall prevent any disqualified person from making a separate Qualifying Purchase.
- – No purchase is necessary. Any person who sends a postcard or letter to Master of Malt, First Floor Offices, Unit 5, Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3EF (marked for the attention of the Marketing Team) casually mentioning the fact that they wish to enter the Lagavulin Distillery Visit Competition 2016 and setting out their name and contact details shall be entered into the competition, provided that the postcard or letter is received prior to the expiry of the Competition Period. By entering the competition in this way, the sender confirms that he or she is eligible to do so. We do not accept any responsibility for any entries which are lost or delayed in transit, regardless of cause including, for example, as a result of any failure of any postal system of any kind. We will not accept proof of posting as proof of receipt of entry to the competition. Postcards and letters will not be returned.
- – Competition entrants must be 18 years old or older (and of legal age to purchase alcohol in their country of residence) in order to participate. Ineligible entries (howsoever received) and illegible entries will be discarded.
- – The winner will be selected at random by Master of Malt, in Master of Malt’s absolute discretion. The selection made will be final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.
- – The winner will be announced on the Master of Malt Blog as soon as practicable after the end of the Competition Period. We will make reasonable efforts to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted or is not available, or has not claimed the prize within five days of the announcement date, we reserve the right to offer the prize to another eligible entrant. We cannot accept any responsibility if any winner is unable to take up the prize.
- – The prize is supplied by Master of Malt, and cannot be exchanged for the equivalent cash value or for other items. The prize is not negotiable or transferable (save with our written agreement, in our sole discretion).
- – In order to accept the prize, the winner shall be required to agree that we can use his or her name and county, state or region of residence (as applicable) when announcing the winner of the competition and for other reasonable and related promotional purposes (nothing sinister, and we won’t sell the winner’s or any other entrants’ details to anybody else – we promise). We may contact the winner for feedback in respect of the competition and may use any feedback provided when announcing the results and promoting the competition or subsequent competitions.
- – We reserve the right to hold void, suspend, cancel, or amend the competition where it becomes necessary to do so. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms and conditions, we may, in our sole discretion, exclude any person from participating in the competition.
- – Insofar as is permitted by law, we and/or our agents and distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the competition prize except where it is caused by our negligence or by the negligence of our agents or distributors (or of our or their respective employees). Entrants’ statutory rights are not affected.
- – These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
Promoter: Atom Supplies Limited trading as Master of Malt, Unit 5 Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3EF (and references to Atom Supplies Limited, Master of Malt, us, we, our and similar expressions shall be construed accordingly).
The Chaps at Master of Malt