Lagavulin is another renowned single malt Scotch whisky distillery located on the southern coast of the Isle of Islay, not far from Laphroaig. Like Laphroaig, Lagavulin is known for its peaty and complex whiskies. Here's a brief overview of the history and taste profile of Lagavulin:
Early History: Lagavulin Distillery officially dates back to 1816, but illicit distillation likely took place on the site before that. It was founded by John Johnston.
Ownership Changes: Lagavulin had several changes in ownership over the years. In the late 19th century, Peter Mackie, a whisky entrepreneur, took over the distillery. He was a key figure in the development of the Lagavulin brand.
20th Century: In 1927, Lagavulin, along with several other distilleries, became part of Distillers Company Ltd (DCL), a precursor to Diageo, one of the largest alcoholic beverage companies in the world.
Post-2000s: Lagavulin has continued to be a highly regarded distillery, and its whiskies are sought after by enthusiasts globally. Lagavulin is known for its limited edition releases, which often gain attention from collectors and connoisseurs.
Lagavulin whiskies are characterized by their intense peatiness, maritime influence, and a rich, complex flavor profile. Here are some key elements of the Lagavulin taste:
Peat Smoke: Lagavulin is known for its heavily peated whiskies. The peat used in the malting process imparts a robust and distinctive smokiness to the whisky.
Iodine and Maritime Notes: Lagavulin whiskies often have maritime characteristics, with notes of seaweed, brine, and iodine. This is influenced by the distillery's coastal location.
Rich and Full-bodied: Lagavulin whiskies are typically full-bodied and rich in flavor. There are often layers of complexity, with hints of fruit, malt, and a touch of sweetness balancing the smoky and peaty elements.
Aging Process: Lagavulin whiskies are often aged in oak casks, which contribute to the development of flavors over time. Some expressions, especially limited editions, may undergo unique maturation processes, such as sherry cask finishing.
Lagavulin offers a range of expressions, and some of the popular ones include:
Lagavulin 16 Year Old: A classic expression with a well-balanced combination of peat, sweetness, and complexity.
Lagavulin 12 Year Old: An annual limited edition release known for its higher proof and vibrant, youthful character.
Lagavulin Distiller's Edition: A series of annual releases featuring whiskies finished in various cask types, often including sherry casks.
Lagavulin whiskies are often appreciated by those who enjoy robust, smoky, and complex Islay whiskies. The brand has a loyal following, and its whiskies are celebrated for their depth of flavor and distinctive character.