Lagavulin Distillery is located on the south end of the island of Islay, Scotland. Lagavulin or ‘Lag a’ Mhuilinn’, in Scottish Gaelic, means hollow of the mill. The distillery was founded in 1816 although illicit distilling was said to have taken place onsite as far back as 1742. It is now owned by Diageo, one of the largest producers of spirits in the world. Lagavulin is known for their slow distillation speeds and their pear-shaped stills. The operation consists of 2 wash stills with a capacity of 11,000 liters and 2 spirit stills with a capacity of 12,500 liters each.
In the 19th Century, they had a feud with close neighbours Laphroaig Distillery. After the distiller left Lagavulin and went to work at Laphroaig they were accused of trying to copy Lagavulin’s whisky exactly. Despite their efforts, the two expressions are quite different indeed.
Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition is the most popular expression in Diageo’s Distiller’s Edition collection. Bottled at 43% ABV, it is finished in Pedro Ximinez casks, the sweetest of Sherries. This 16-year-old whisky is an incredibly rich, distinguished smoky Islay expression with complex layers of Sherry sweetness and coastal characters. Here is my take!
Nose: Peat smoke, sweet honey, rich dark fruit, cherries, plums, dried apricots.
Palate: Herbal, beach fire, orange peel zest, ocean spray on a stormy day.
Finish: Smoldering bonfire, apricot jam, spice and peat.