This new whisky is the first part in a year of significant celebration for Lagavulin. 2016 marks the 200th anniversary for the iconic Islay distillery and there are a series of special plans scheduled throughout the year. We were delighted to be invited to a dinner in London that launched the celebrations and revealed this new limited edition single malt – the Lagavulin 8 years old 200th Anniversary Edition. The release pays direct homage to Victorian journalist Alfred Barnard who wrote about Lagavulin in his seminal two year work, The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, and became an instant fan of the peaty Islay malt.
Lagavulin (pronounced lagga-voo-lin) is located on the famous Scottish whisky island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides. The distillery is located on the south eastern coast of the island and sits on Lagavulin Bay, a small bay dominated by the ruins of the 13th century Dunyvaig Castle. The name is taken from the anglicised name of the Gaelic village in which the distillery is located – this was formerly called Lag a’Mhuilin, which translates as ‘mill by the bay’ from the local Gaelic dialect.
Lagavulin was founded in 1816 by John Johnston, although local records show illegal distilling was taking place in Lagavulin Bay as far back as the early 18th century. The distillery is currently owned by Diageo and has an annual production of approximately three million litres. The whisky produced there is split between the Lagavulin single malt portfolio, including the Classic Malts 16 years old expression, and for use within Diageo’s extensive blended range. It is most well known for being one of the prominent malts in White Horse.
“The make is pure Islay Malt, and is principally sold in Glasgow, England and the Colonies. The make is held in high repute ; we tasted some eight years old before starting, which was exceptionally fine.”
Extract from ‘No. 36 Lagavulin Distillery’ in The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom by Alfred Barnard, 1887.
The Lagavulin 8 years old 200th Anniversary Edition has been matured exclusively in re-fill American oak casks and is bottled at 48% ABV.