Lagavulin 16 Yr Old Single Malt Whisky - 700ml
Lagavulin, pronounced 'Lagga-voolin' (meaning 'the hollow where the mill is') is distinctive and powerful. Once described as 'liquid bandaid' for its strong medicinal character, it is perhaps the most assertive, complex and intensely dry of all the Islay malts.The palate overwhelms like an ocean wave with powerful peaty, salty overtones that re-emerge on the finish. The taste sensation lingers long in the mouth. On a cold wet winters night, there is perhaps no finer tonic than a dram of Lagavulin.
Other reviews… Nose: Massive peat. Ultra-intense iodine carries a shade more spice than of old. The fruity-sherry notes are clean, vanilla is much deeper. Beautifully layered. Palate: Peat so thick you could stand a spoon in it. Chewy iodine bolstered by sherry and big oak. Finish: A little spice lightens the grip of the peat and vanilla. Dries off with malt, dried dates... and iodine. Comment: A true classic in every sense that offers breathtaking depth. Rating: 95 - Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2006.
Further notes…Nose: Lapsang Souchong and fruity sherry. Palate: The dryness is at first offset by the sweetness of the sherry character. As the palate develops, oily, grassy, and, in particular, salty notes emerge in a long, sustained, aggressive, attack. Finish: A huge, powerful, bear-hug of peat. Comment: The driest of Islay malts, and an established classic.Rating: 9.5 /10 - Michael Jackson, www.whiskymag.com
More about the Distillery... Lagavulin legitimately claims to being one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Situated in a small bay near the south coast of Islay, Lagavulin stands near the ruins of Dunyveg Castle. From here 1,000 Islaymen set sail to fight alongside Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314, and in this bay the Macdonalds maintained their power base as Lords of the Isles until finally driven out by the Campbells three centuries later. Distilling on the site is thought to date fromas early as 1742. In the late 1700s it is believed that there were upto ten illicit stills operating in the district. The Lagavulin distillery officially became legal in 1816 and by the 1830s onlytwo distilleries remained in the bay. In 1837 these distilleries unified under the Lagavulin title, coming under the ownership of the Graham brothers and James Logan Mackie. By 1875 the distillery was producing 75,000 gallons of whisky annually.
The distillery's water is sourced from a nearby stream. The maturation warehouses are by the sea and when the seas are high, Lagavulin's outerwalls are knee-high in salt water. Lagavulin uses Larch wood washbacks and individual onion-shaped stills with unique steep swan-necked lye pipes which the distillers claim profoundly affect the taste and refuse to change in any way.