Lagavulin distillery

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Lagavulin - entrance.JPG
Region: Islay
Water sourceSolum Lochs
Age(s)8-year-old (Limited Edition)
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. It distills spirit that is destined to become Islay single malt Scotch whisky.

Lagavulin is publicly owned by Diageo PLC, the company formed by the merger of United Distillers & Vintners and Guinness. The exact ownership structure is kept private. 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. 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 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.[2] Wine Enthusiast Magazine put the 16-year in its 90–95 point interval in 2004.[2] 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 1975-80
  • 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-Present

In popular culture[edit]

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.[3]

In the NBC tv show Parks and Recreation Lagavulin 16 is the preferred drink of Nick Offerman's character, Ron Swanson. Bottles of the whisky are drunk and shown throughout the series and are referenced in many episodes. In addition, Lagavulin is Offerman's favourite drink and in 2015 an ad was released with Offerman drinking a bottle of the drink, which led to a spike in sales of the malt. At the show’s conclusion, Swanson is portrayed as having purchased a controlling stake in the distillery to “diversify his portfolio”.[4]

In Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' 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".[5]

In "Dead Irish Writers" (season 3, episode 15) of the NBC series The West Wing, British Ambassador Lord John Marbury expresses a preference for Lagavulin in a conversation with White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler.[6]

In the 2015 film, Aloha, General Dixon (Alec Baldwin) and Colonel "Fingers" Lacy (Danny McBride) are seen drinking a whisky from the Lagavulin distillery.[7]

On the 2015 AMC television show, Fear The Walking Dead episode thirteen of season four, the character Strand risks his life to obtain a bottle of Lagavulin.[8]

In Angel season 5 episode 18, Spike mentions that Wesley smells like he has been drinking Lagavulin.

In "Doors & Corners" (season 2, episode 2) of The Expanse, Madam Secretary Avassarala and Admiral Souther meet at a bar and she offers him a drink, asking the barman to "give him a proper Scotch please. Lagavulin." Early chapters of the third book in the series indicate a similar popularity of the liquor on Ceres Station, though the price has risen nearly 2000% since the early 21st century.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lagavulin".
  2. ^ a b " Summary of Lagavulin Awards". Proof66. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  3. ^ "28 Days Later... (2002)". IMDb.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Larsson, Stieg (2010). The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Penguin. p. 801. ISBN 978-0-670-06903-3.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Say Aloha to some Lagavulin". Scotch Cinema.
  8. ^

External links[edit]

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