Lagavulin distillery officially dates back to 1816, this is when John Jonston and Archibald Campbell constructed two distilleries on the site. One of them became Lagavulin. Records show that illicit distillation occurred in at least ten illegal distilleries on the site dating as far back as 1742. The Lagavulin distillery is located in the village of the same name.
Lagavulin is known for its slow distillation speed and pear shaped pot stills. The two wash stills have a capacity of 11,000 Litres and the two spirit stills of 12,500 Litres each. This year ( 2016) lagavulin celebrates the 200 years of legal distilling with this 200th Aniversary edition, it is said that in the 1880s Alfred Barnard the author of ” the whisky distilleries of the United Kingdom” enjoyed the lagavulin 8 yo and described it as ” exceptionally fine ” maybe this is one reason the distillery decided to recreate this expression for the celebrations.
This bottle has an abv of 48%.
Nose.. As expected this is a whopper. Instantly it is a smoke infused fruit garden, smouldering wood/ charcoal and burnt oranges, toffee apples and dark molasses. It drifts in and out off smouldering smoke to a more delicate aromatic smoke, quite Devine.
Palate.. A full on explosion of big flavours hit every part of your mouth, a quite extraordinary drying feeling but at the same time very fresh and fruity sweet. Intense wood smoke mingles with notes of caramelised oranges and baked pear drowning in rich honey. Liquorice and tobacco smoke are detectable along with some subtle spices.
Finish.. A dry, smokey bonfire that just goes on and on.
Thoughts.. This is a smoke infused time bomb that when it goes bang it really explodes a barrage of flavours and aromas into every part of your senses that is possible.. This is the Heineken of whisky in that it refreshes the parts other types of whisky cannot reach.. A rather magnificent whisky that really should not be a one off.. It has such complexity and so many layers that this needs to be given time and respect in order to fully appreciate what you have in the glass..