|Water source||Solum Lochs|
|Age(s)||8-year-old (Limited Edition)
12-year-old (cask strength)
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.
The name of Lagavulin is an anglicization of the Gaelic lag a'mhuilin, meaning "hollow by the mill".
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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.
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.Wine Enthusiast Magazine put the 16-year in its 90-95 point interval in 2004. Spirits ratings aggregator proof66.com, which averages scores from the San Francisco Spirits Competition, Wine Enthusiast, and others, classifies the spirit in its highest ("Tier 1") performance category.
Lagavulin 16 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. Nick Offerman, the actor who plays the character, is a Lagavulin drinker in real life, referring to it in an interview as "mother's milk". 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 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".
In season 3, episode 15, "Dead Irish Writers", 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.