Lagavulin distillery

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Lagavulin - entrance.JPG
Region: Islay
Location Islay
Owner Diageo
Founded 1816
Status Operational
Water source Solum Lochs
Age(s) 12-year-old (cask strength)
Distiller's edition
Cask type(s) Bourbon
Location map
Map of distilleries on Islay

Lagavulin distillery is an Islay single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Lagavulin on the island of Islay, Scotland.

The standard Lagavulin single malt is 16 years old (43%), though they regularly release a 12-year-old cask strength variety, a Distiller's edition finished in Pedro Ximénez casks, and 25- and 30-year-old varieties.

Lagavulin is produced by United Distillers & Vintners, which in turn is owned by Diageo plc. It is marketed under their Classic Malts brand.

The name of Lagavulin is an anglicization of the Gaelic lag a'mhuilin, meaning "hollow by the mill".

The distillery[edit]

Pot stills at Lagavulin Distillery

The distillery of Lagavulin officially dates from 1816, when John Jonston and Archibald Campbell constructed two distilleries on the site. One of them became Lagavulin, taking over the other—which one is not exactly known. Records show illicit distillation in at least ten illegal distilleries on the site as far back as 1742, however. In the 19th century, several legal battles ensued with their neighbour Laphroaig, brought about after the distiller at Lagavulin, Sir Peter Mackie, leased the Laphroaig distillery. It is said that Mackie attempted to copy Laphroaig's style. Since the water and peat at Lagavulin's premises was different from that at Laphroaig's, the result was different. The Lagavulin distillery is located in the village of the same name.

Lagavulin is known for its producer's use of a 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.[1]


Lagavulin Distillers Edition

International Spirit ratings competitions have generally given Lagavulin's 16-year spirit extremely high scores. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, for instance, gave the 16-year four consecutive double gold medals between 2005 and 2008 and has awarded it gold medals in the years since.[2] Wine Enthusiast put the 16-year in its 90–95 point interval in 2004.[3] Spirits ratings aggregator, which averages scores from the San Francisco Spirits Competition, Wine Enthusiast, and others, classifies the spirit in its highest ("Tier 1") performance category.


  • Alistair Robertson 1984–1988
  • Grant Carmichael 1988–1995
  • Mike Nicolson 1995–October 1998
  • Donald Renwick 1998–2005
  • Graham Logie 2006–2008
  • Peter Campbell 2008–2010
  • Georgie Crawford 2010–2014
  • Hazel Onions 2015–

In popular culture[edit]

Lagavulin was referenced in an episode of NBC's The West Wing, titled "Dead Irish Writers", as the preferred scotch of the character, Lord John Marbury.

The single malt whisky that Frank is discussing with Jim in the supermarket in the 2002 film 28 Days Later is from the Lagavulin distillery.[4]

Lagavulin was given as a gift in the "Good Will Haunting" episode of USA Network's Necessary Roughness by sports agent Connor McClane (John Stamos) to coach Tom Wizinski (David Andrews).

Lagavulin distiller's select is the preferred scotch of Ron Swanson, a character on NBC's Parks and Recreation. In "London", the first episode of the show's sixth season, he visits the distillery itself. The actor who plays the character, Nick Offerman, is a Lagavulin drinker in real life, referring to it in an interview as "mother's milk".[5] In the show's finale, Ron purchases a 51% share in the distillery when urged to 'diversify' his personal portfolio of assets.

In Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Lisbeth Salander visits The Rock Hotel on Gibraltar after her acquittal. She asks for a drink of Lagavulin after studying the bottles behind the bar and, after tasting it, pushes it away and requests "...something that could not be used to tar a boat".[6]

In Brian Stoddart's A Madras Miasma, the lead character Chris LeFanu has a personal stock of Lagavulin at his office which he offers to a suspect during interrogation.

In Ray Donovan, Ray drinks it in the second chapter of the second season when June Wilson orders it for him as his preferred drink.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°38′07.8″N 6°07′34.3″W / 55.635500°N 6.126194°W / 55.635500; -6.126194