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Lagavulin

Lagavulin is one of a trio of distilleries sat on the south coast of Islay, producing some of the smokiest whisky Scotland has to offer, with the Lagavulin 16 Year Old standing as their most storied expression. Located on the shores of the Lagavulin Bay, the distillery is home to two pairs of stills - Lagavulin has a long distillation time, and many believe this imparts the intense richness of the single malt whisky.

John Johnston founded the Lagavulin distillery in 1816, though there had been as many as ten illicit distilleries in the area since 1742 - naughty! Lagavulin was home to legal distilling under Johnston’s eye, however. Shortly after it opened, a distillery named Ardmore was opened close by, 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. 25 years later, the distillery came under the ownership of James Mackie, who brought in his nephew Peter Mackie to work at Lagavulin shortly afterwards. During his time at the distillery, Peter Mackie became well known for working incredibly hard indeed, earning the nickname Restless Peter.

Mackie founded the Malt Mill distillery in disused Lagavulin buildings in 1908, though it closed in 1962. However, it’s legacy lives on throughout Lagavulin - the buildings now house the Lagavulin visitor centre, the stills have been incorporated into Lagavulin’s distilling equipment and a sample of Malt Mill whisky is kept at Lagavulin.

Lagavulin 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 Scotch 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, and that only increased the demand. The distillery’s spirit stills are actually larger than the wash stills, along with a 4.4 ton stainless steel mash tun.

Lagavulin celebrated their 200th anniversary in 2016, producing a number of limited edition bottlings. These included a Lagavulin 8 Year Old (which would eventually become part of the distillery’s core range), a Lagavulin 25 Year Old and the Lagavulin 12 Year Old (a regular feature of Diageo’s Special Releases).

In 2018 it was announced that Georgie Crawford, distillery manager of seven years, would be leaving to revive Port Ellen distillery. Colin Gordon, who was previously site operations manager at Port Ellen Maltings, took over the role, with the changeover taking place just after the Fèis Ìle festival.

Lagavulin takes the title of the second best-selling malt on Islay, with Laphroaig being the first.

Lagavulin 11 Year Old - The Manager's Dram

70cl, 57.1%

Bottled exclusively for Diageo staff in 2013, this is a rare natural cask strength Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed…  More info

Lagavulin 11 Year Old - The Manager's Dram

Lagavulin 15 Year Old - 1980s Bottling (White Horse Distillers)

75cl, 45%

A very, very rare ceramic decanter of 15 year old Lagavulin, this was released in the 1980s, and is quite a collectors' piece. In fact, Serge Valentin from WhiskyFun.com rated this with a whopping 94…  More info

Lagavulin 15 Year Old - 1980s Bottling (White Horse Distillers)

Lagavulin 1991 - Feis Ile 2015

70cl, 59.9%

A 'triple matured' single malt distilled in 1991, matured in bourbon casks with a short period in PX Sherry butts and finally a long, gentle third maturation in old puncheons. Bottled at 59.9% abv in…  More info

Lagavulin 1991 - Feis Ile 2015
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Lagavulin Feis Ile 2008

70cl, 52.9%

Released as a special bottling for the Islay Festival in 2008, this single cask, cask strength release was distilled in 1993 and hand selected by Iain McArthur. It was matured in cask 1403 (European…  More info

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2008

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2019

70cl, 50.9%

Lagavulin releases a limited edition single malt each year for the Islay Jazz Festival, and they're top stuff. As the festival was celebrating its 21st year in 2019, the distillery decided to bottle…  More info

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2019

Lagavulin 25 Year Old (Special Release 2002)

70cl, 57.2%

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Rare, massively exciting and extremely sought after peated cask strength single malt whisky from Lagavulin distillery on Islay! 9,000 bottles were released as part of Diageo's…  More info

Lagavulin 25 Year Old (Special Release 2002)

Lagavulin 24 Year Old 1979 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46%

A rare vintage bottle of Lagavulin, distilled in 1979 and then matured for 24 years in oak casks before being bottled by Murray McDavid for the Mission series in 2003. The bottle has been signed by…  More info

Lagavulin 24 Year Old 1979 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Lagavulin 1993 (bottled 2007) - Fèis Ìle 2007

70cl, 56.5%

A rare single cask bottling from Lagavulin, released as part of the Fèis Ìle 2007 celebrations. This Islay single malt was distilled in 1993 and allowed to mature in a single cask until 2007, when it…  More info

Lagavulin 1993 (bottled 2007) - Fèis Ìle 2007

Lagavulin 21 Year Old

70cl, 56.5%

A cask strength 21 year old release from Lagavulin, just 6,642 bottles were released, distilled in 1985 and bottled in 2007.  More info

Lagavulin 21 Year Old

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (White Horse Distillers) - 1980s

75cl, 43%

An old and rather rare bottling of 12 year old Lagavulin bottledby White Horse Distillers, we reckon sometime in the 1980s. A collectible Islay single malt. This bottle was part of a private…  More info

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (White Horse Distillers) - 1980s

Lagavulin 1978 (cask 128) - WM Cadenhead

70cl, 64.7%

A retro Cadenhead bottling of single malt from Islay's Lagavulin distillery, which was distilled all the way back in 1978. It was bottled at cask strength - a hefty 64.7% ABV! This bottle was part…  More info

Lagavulin 1978 (cask 128) - WM Cadenhead

Lagavulin 37 Year Old 1976 (2013 Special Release)

70cl, 51%

STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER The oldest official bottling of Lagavulin ever released. This rare, natural cask strength gem of limited release was distilled back in 1976 before being matured in refill…  More info

Lagavulin 37 Year Old 1976 (2013 Special Release)

Lagavulin 25 Year Old - 200th Anniversary Edition

70cl, 51.7%

Limited to 8,000 bottles, this special 25 year old Lagavulin celebrates the distillery's 200th anniversary with a well-matured expression matured exclusively in ex-Sherry casks and with the names of…  More info

Lagavulin 25 Year Old - 200th Anniversary Edition
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Lagavulin 12 Year Old (White Horse Distillers) - 1970s

75cl, 43%

Collectible single malt from the Lagavulin distillery, specially selected and bottled by White Horse Distillers back in the 1970s. This bottle comes alongside its original presentation box. This…  More info

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (White Horse Distillers) - 1970s

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