Founded in 1816 by John Johnston, and now owned by Diageo, the Lagavulin distillery is located at the Lagavulin Bay on Islay. Lagavulin produces some of the most distinctive and famous whiskies in Scotland – you can catch Lagavulin in films and TV: Parks and Recreation, 28 Days Later, The West Wing and Hollywood Homicide. Lagavulin was the best-selling Islay single malt until 1998. The standard single malt is the 16 year old, and the annual release of the cask strength 12 year old is a personal favourite! If you still need some convincing, actor Nick Offerman (from Parks and Rec) refers to Lagavulin whisky as ‘mother’s milk’.
Lagavulin 8 Year Old – 200thAnniversary Edition
This 48% Islay Single Malt was matured in oak casks, of European and American origin. It was released to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the distillery, and was inspired by Alfred Barnard’s visit to the distillery in the 1880’s, where he tasted an “exceptionally fine” 8 year old malt.
Appearance: A rather clear liquid with a yellow tinge, reflective of its age. Oily, with lots of legs and fast moving fat drops.
Nose: Surprisingly, a very subtle nose for an Islay whisky. However, once the nose is successfully decoded delightful hints of charred wood, caramel and sea-salt all become clear. Inviting.
Madyson: 4/5 | Rami: 4/5
Palate: A light palate filled with peat, which is not too overpowering. There are floral suggestions which contrast nicely with the classic Islay flavour (in our opinion!) of frazzle crisps. The sea-salt is lingering, but is slowly replaced by pepper and tobacco.
Madyson: 3/5 | Rami: 4/5
Finish: The sea-salt continues into the finish, but black pepper and a flavoursome, light peat dominate. Reminiscent of Spanish fried corn.
Madyson: 5/5 | Rami 5/5
Overall: This is a surprisingly simple malt, and an excellent introductory Islay whisky. Though slightly pricey, this is a strong, smoky exceptionally fine 8 year old whisky.