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Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Port Ellen Argyll
PA42 7DZ Scotland
Tel: +44 (0) 1496 302400
Fax: +44 (0) 1496 302733
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Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt ScotchIslay has been cradle to many things, early Christianity for one. But it is in malt whisky distilling that this fertile island, some twenty miles by twenty-five, has found its modern vocation. Here, in the still mainly Gaelic speaking community around Port Ellen, on the island's south eastern shores, twelve men today craft pungent, dark Lagavulin™, made on this historic site at least since 1816.

The sea has shaped everything here. A narrow fringe of mica schist and hornblende provides coastal relief from the Dalradian quartzite of the hills above, providing Lagavulin with its romantic bay and the offshore island of Texa.

Above all, Islay means peat. Miles and miles of peat bog in the west of the island provide the raw material whose influence so characterises the south eastern Islay malts, of which Lagavulin™ is perhaps best known. Lagavulin’s™ richly peaty process water runs down the brown burn to the distillery from the Solan Lochs in the hills above the distillery. Though it shares a coastline with two neighbouring distilleries, former owner Peter Mackie took pains to ensure that Lagavulin shares its water with no-one. Rights over the water course and the surrounding land were hotly contested in his day; his persistence secured Lagavulin's legacy.

The barley used to distil Lagavulin™ is malted at nearby Port Ellen and has a strong peat aroma - it has perhaps twenty times as much exposure to peat smoke as a typical Speyside, Cragganmore. Fermentation of the barley is a slow process, too. Between 55 and 75 hours are taken for the full peat-rich flavour of the locally-malted barley to come through.

The four stills at Lagavulin, two of them pear-shaped in the style inherited from Malt Mill, take this peaty wort and give it all the time and care it deserves. Following the original practice, Lagavulin™ receives the slowest distillation of any Islay malt - around five hours for the first distillation and more than nine hours for the second is the norm. This long distillation is often said to give Lagavulin™ the characteristic roundness and soft, mellow edges that devotees rightly prize.

Lagavulin Distillery
Lagavulin Distillery

There's nothing rushed about Islay, nor is there about Lagavulin™; before being bottled, the malt spends sixteen unhurried years breathing the sea-salt air of Islay, mainly in refill European oak casks kept in traditional white-painted warehouses by the sea shore. Long fermentation, long distillation and long maturation together ensure that Lagavulin develops all of its long, rich, peaty character. It’s is a spirit that likes to take its time. The definitive Islay malt demands nothing less.

Food suggestion: Delightful with a fine Roquefort cheese and biscuits. Taste style: Complex. Dry and smoky with a big body. Sweetness at first turning to darker smoke (coal) at the close. Perhaps some saltiness too.

Courtesy of Lagavulin


Buy Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Here!
A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram.

Strength: 43% ABV

Appearance: Deep amber gold.

Nose: Intense peat smoke with iodine and seaweed and a rich, deep sweetness.

Body: Full, rich.

Palate: Dry peat smoke fills the palate with a gentle but strong sweetness, followed by sea and salt with touches of wood.

Finish: A long, elegant peat-filled finish with lots of salt and seaweed.




Lagavulin Whisky Distillery
Lagavulin Distillery
Lagavulin Distillery

Among the great homes of malt whisky the greatest is Islay, home even today to seven active malt distilleries. And first among the Islay malts is Lagavulin™ - the definitive Islay malt.

Islay came late to law and order. It was well into the 19th Century when arrangements to collect duty here finally fell into line with those applying elsewhere in Scotland and legal distilling became the norm.

As early as 1742, there were perhaps ten illicit stills operating at Lagavulin. In 1816 local farmer and distiller John Johnston founded the first legal distillery, within view of Dunyvaig Castle, once the stronghold of the Lords of the Isles.

A year later Archibald Campbell founded a second, which seems later to have traded under the name Ardmore. After Johnston's death the two were united, when Glasgow-based Islay malt merchant Alexander Graham, to whom Johnston had been in debt, acquired Lagavulin for the princely sum of £1,103 9 shillings 8 pence; approximately $2000 by today’s currency standard.

Graham improved the buildings and his successors, James Logan Mackie & Co., carried on the business successfully. Lagavulin went from strength to strength. Alfred Barnard, visiting in 1887, commented that "There are only a few of the Scotch distillers that turn out spirit for use as single malt whiskies, and that at Lagavulin can claim to be one of the most prominent."

Owner Peter Mackie became famous throughout the whisky world as the creator of the famous blend, White Horse. A man driven by the Victorian work ethic and so nicknamed by his staff "Restless Peter", he was continually planning fresh ventures, one of which the famous "traditional" Malt Mill distillery opened alongside Lagavulin in 1908 and closed in 1960.

Today's Lagavulin™, winner of Gold Medals at nine International Wine and Spirit Competitions and the 1993 Ian Mitchell Trophy as best 'Special Edition' Single Malt Scotch Whisky, is acclaimed by writer Jane MacQuitty as "gloriously rich, smoky, iodine-scented.”

Lagavulin™ is a wonderfully rounded pleasure. Its recently described "awesome and marvellous complexity of flavours" are enjoyed by a small but growing band of malt lovers, for whom this big, dark, intense character just is malt.

"Restless Peter" can rest easy at last....

Visit the Lagavulin Distillery
Take a tour of the distillery, see our distillers at work and view the unusual pear shaped stills. Peated malt, slow distillation and long maturation together ensure Lagavulin develops a complex, rich, peaty character. Lagavulin is a spirit which likes to take its time.

Distillery Manager:
Graham Logie

Opening Times
Open all year round, however, we are closed between Christmas and New Year.

January to December
Monday thru Friday, by appointment only. Please call: +44 (0) 1496 302400

Adults: £4.00 / This charge includes a discount voucher which is redeemable in the distillery shop towards the purchase of a 750ml bottle of single malt whisky. Admission is free to all Friends of the Classic Malts.

Getting There
From Port Ellen take the Ardbeg road. Lagavulin is the second distillery on your right.

Parking / Reception
Parking is on the right before you reach the distillery. Expect a great Islay welcome your guide. The offices, reception and dram room are tastefully wood-pannelled with soft green and creams. Look for the huge quilt map of Islay in the reception area.

Contact the Lagavulin Distillery
Port Ellen Argyll
PA42 7DZ Scotland
Telephone: +44 (0) 1496 302400
Fax: +44 (0) 1496 302733

Courtesy of Lagavulin

Comments on this Whisky                                                      page 4 of 5
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Posted 2707 days ago
Lagavulin is a good expression of peated Scotch, but I'm awfully confounded by the romanticism portrayed in some of these posts. I am hard pressed to issue any statement about the "best Scotch in the world". Anybody who makes that kind of claim clearly hasn't tried enough Scotch to recognize there is no ceiling when it comes to this spirit. Lagavulin, in my experience, is a medium-conservative Islay Scotch, and doesn't have the intensity that some peat-heads might look for. It also isn't bottled at a high enough strength to justify its outlandish price. My opinion is save your money and look towards some of the more realistically priced alternatives.
frank durso
Posted 2720 days ago
without a doubt the finest scotch in the world, period ............
Ed Cooper
Posted 2723 days ago
I first sampled the fine taste of real peat and smoke in 2007. The rumor about the distillery fire was offered by the bar keep to me over his recommendation to try a single he found amusing. I fell in love immediately and ran to my local shop to purchase the last bottle of 16 year old he had. As I soon learned, the bottle was obviously defective, as the contents escaped like a dream each time I checked on it. I never found another beautiful brown bottle and chalked it up to the fire. Soon after I forgot the name Lagavulin. Once in a while I would scan the shelves of single malts to see if I could jog my memory. No such luck until today thumbing through the list on Whiskey.com. Quest On. And I won't be falling for any rumors of distillery fires until I taste the smoke once again.
Posted 2728 days ago
I am a fan of all the peaty single malts - Laphroaig being my introduction - but my favourite to this day is Lagavullin. To me it has a smooth almost butterY finish and is deeply satisfying and warming.
Michael Alexander
Posted 2740 days ago
Longtime a fan of Ardbeg , my first dram of Lagavulin was akin to partaking of Holy Water! as the poet says
"takes away the fire, but leaves the warmth"....a reason to visit Scotland and Islay!
Posted 2822 days ago
I am a traveller. It is in Canada, a few days back, that one of my fellows suggested this in a bar. I had a sip and fell in love almost instantly. And at the same time felt so ashamed for not trying it when I was in the UK for 4 years.
The best Scotch I have ever had... no, the best Scotch that exists!
Posted 2871 days ago
Would love to see pictures of your pear shaped stills. Are they copper? great taste for whisky!
Posted 3037 days ago
I'm a complete novice about whisky, just now taking it up as an enjoyable past time. After reading the description on the bottle, I decided I'd like to taste the Lagavulin, so I bought the 16 year old scotch home. I tried a bit that night and was so utterly delighted! What a lovely smokey taste and a smoothness that slides down the back of the throat like velvet. I've never had something so relaxing, so undemanding, yet so completely addicting. I'm now a fan and plan to always keep a supply on hand. You don't need to be a man to cherish the taste of this delicious drink. You just need to appreciate the finer things in life. Well done!
Posted 3057 days ago
The previous comment was left by a dreamy Manhattan taxi driver unhealed from recent, and failed, corrective brain surgery.
His homoerotic fantasies thud before flight when attempting to gender strap this elegant Scotch.
Chewing this marvelous liquor is a great idea but I suggest your try it with your eyes open lest this last one try to "sheepdog" your innocent trouser leg.
Best Scotch ever...
Posted 3083 days ago
I am amazed by all the whining and sniveling about the flavor being too strong. Perhaps it is for those that Coors Light is brewed.
Lagavulin is bold, yet evocative. Take a small mouthful and chew it with your eyes closed and you can hear the screams of the gulls over the breaking surf on the rocky shores. In the minds eye one can see the leaden grey skies and the heather on the hills. This is a Scotch worthy of the hardy men, this with a poem in their soul, glint in their eye, shirtsleeves bulging with muscle and no fear of flavor or sensation
Not for the effeminate or weak