Lagavulin distillery

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Lagavulin distillery
Region: Islay
Water sourceSolum Lochs
12-year-old (cask strength)
Distiller's edition
Offerman edition (11-year-old)
Cask type(s)Bourbon
Location map
Map of distilleries on Islay

Lagavulin distillery is a malt whisky distillery in the village of Lagavulin on the south of the island of Islay, Scotland.[1] It distills spirit that will become Islay single malt Scotch whisky.

Lagavulin is owned by Diageo, a multinational beverage alcohol company headquartered in London. It was previously marketed under the Classic Malts range of single malts, which is now defunct.

The standard bottling is a 16-year-old, bottled at 43% ABV. They also bottle a Distiller's edition, finished in Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks. Alongside these, they regularly release a 12-year-old cask strength version and various older and rarer expressions.

The name Lagavulin is an anglicisation of Lag a' Mhuilinn, the Scottish Gaelic for hollow of the mill.


Pot stills at Lagavulin Distillery

The distillery of Lagavulin officially dates from 1816, when John Johnston and Archibald Campbell Brooks constructed two distilleries on the site.[2] 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, 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 did not match. 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.[3]


Lagavulin Distillers Edition

International spirits 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.[4] Wine Enthusiast Magazine put the 16-year in its 90–95 point interval in 2004.[4] 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.


  • Jack Wilson circa 1974
  • Neil Gillies, 1975–1980
  • Ian Marland, 1980–1983
  • Alistair Robertson, 1984–1988
  • Grant Carmichael, 1988–1995
  • Mike Nicolson, 1995 – October 1998
  • Donald Renwick, 1998–2005
  • John Thomson, 2005–2006
  • Graham Logie, 2006–2008
  • Peter Campbell, 2008–2010
  • Georgie Crawford, 2010–2018
  • Colin Gordon, 2018–2020
  • Pierrick Guillaume, 2020-2022[5]
  • Jordan Paisley, 2022-[6]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC's Parks and Recreation made Lagavulin the drink of choice of character Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), featuring it throughout the series.[7]
    • The Lagavulin distillery was featured in the two-part opening episode of the show's sixth season, titled "London."[7]
    • The Lagavulin distilery was bought by Ron Swanson in the last episode of the show's seventh season, titled "One Last Ride."
  • In The West Wing (season 3, episode 15, titled 'Dead Irish Writers'), Lagavulin was featured as the drink of choice of Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees).[8]
  • Lagavulin 16 was offered to the character Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr) as his preferred drink in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Islay Whisky, Lagavulin". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  2. ^ "The History Of Lagavulin". Diageo. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Lagavulin Distillery".
  4. ^ a b "Lagavulin 16yr Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky". Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  5. ^ Kiely, Melita (4 September 2020). "Lagavulin distillery welcomes new manager". The Spirits Business. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Jordan Paisley is Lagavulin's new distillery manager".
  7. ^ a b Meslow, Scott (25 November 2019). "Nick Offerman on Ron Swanson, Lagavulin, and a Canoe Named Huckleberry". GQ. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  8. ^ "The West Wing Transcripts - Dead Irish Writers". The West Wing Transcripts.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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