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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 Feis Ile 2012

70cl, 55.1%

Lagavulin's incredible 2012 Feis Ile release, a real favourite here with lots to discover.  More info

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2012

Lagavulin 20 Year Old

70cl, 48.1%

This Lagavulin is an astonishing twenty years old (one less than the famous twenty-one year old) and is a rare opportunity to try a Lagavulin of this age!  More info

Lagavulin 20 Year Old

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 51%

An amazing a very rare Lagavulin, distilled on the 23rd February 1998 and aged in cask 1715 for 12 years before bottling for the 2011 Feis Ile. A limited release, aged in warehouse 1 in a single…  More info

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2011

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)

Lg1 - Elements of Islay (Lagavulin)

50cl, 56.8%

From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range, originally packaged with a laboratory look. Each is a 50cl bottle of cask strength Islay malt, each are given Periodic Table style names, which hint…  More info

Lg1 - Elements of Islay (Lagavulin)

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 52.7%

A special release from the Lagavulin distillery, distilled in 1994 and filled into a European Oak Sherry cask (number 3210) on the 1st August 1994, and aged for 15 years before bottling in 2010. Each…  More info

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2010

Lagavulin 1993 (bottled 2009) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%

Ever wondered what a deliciously smoky Lagavulin would taste like when coupled with the sweet, silken grace of Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry cask? Well here it is. A superb Distillers Edition, this is…  More info

Lagavulin 1993 (bottled 2009) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

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