There have been distilleries at Lagavulin since the 18th century, though it wasn’t until 1816 that farmer John Johnston founded the first legal distillery. A year later a second distillery appeared, this one run by Archibald Campbell.
The two distilleries were united under a Glasgow trader, and in 1887, Peter Mackie arrived at the distillery, under whose guiding hand the distillery, and the name Lagavulin, was to become the last word in Islay malt.
Nose: More like Lapsang Souchong tea than Lapsang Souchong! One of the smokiest noses from Islay. It’s big, very, very concentrated, and redolent of iodine, sweet spices, good, mature Sherry and creamy vanilla. Stunning.
Palate: Very thick and rich. A massive mouthful of malt and Sherry with good fruity sweetness, but also a wonderful sweetness. Big, powerful peat and oak.
Finish: Long, spicy finish, figs, dates, peat smoke, vanilla.
Nose: Salted popcorn, honey-roasted nuts, tarry ropes and light hints of freshly-chopped cedar. A touch of burnt sugar sweetness lingers.
Palate: Smokey peat appears first on the palate, followed by coriander seed, barley sugar, cumin powder, smoked kipper and marzipan.
Finish: Layers of apple crumble, toasted almond and ash. Another kick of cooking spices right at the end.
Nose: A gently ashy Lagavulin expression, bolstered by pear drop boiled sweets, an iodine brine, orange oil and and a grassiness. Wafts of smoke become more prominent with time in the glass and a drop of water.
Palate: A medium-weight dram, on the palate the expression is sweeter than you’d expect from the nose, and the smoke is more pronounced, too. The pear becomes fresher and the orange more zesty, along with a gentle earthiness.
Finish: Medium-long and drying, with waft after waft of that seaside smoke.
Overall: Lagavulin with a delectable twist!