Lagavulin Whiskey: A Pure Classic

Off the beautiful coast of Scotland there is an island that goes by the name of Islay. On this island you will find Lagavulin Bay. On the coast a peculiar looking set of white buildings would capture your attention. They appear to be part of a farmhouse. They are painted pure white and there are at least a dozen buildings. As you get closer you will notice a brick wall that rises from the point where the coast meets the land and in big, bold black letters you can read the words Lagavulin Distillery.

Why is Lagavulin So Well Known?

Lagavulin distillery is a malt whisky distillery in the village of Lagavulin on the south of the island of Islay, Scotland. It makes and distills a 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 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.

Lagavulin is an award winning whiskey and in the highest class of whiskies per wikipedia: “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 And Its Famous Admirers

It seems like every celebrity is trying to start their own liquor brand nowadays. P.Diddy, Ryan Reynolds, and even George Clooney have their own brand of liquor out there available for sale. Lagavulin, on the other hand, already has a built in following from many celebrities.

Nick Offerman, from “The Office”, is a huge fan of Lagavulin Whiskey. So much so that he even bought some stock in the company. He can often be seen drinking it in scenes from the hit television show. Lagavulin took notice too. They are immortalizing him with his picture on a limited edition 11 year old bottling of their whiskey. When asked about his love for the whiskey Offerman had this to say:

“I was 29 years old at the Chicago Film Festival, and my friend the filmmaker Scott King bought me a glass of Lagavulin. I tasted it and it’s a campfire in a glass. And I said ‘holy cow, I see what all the fuss is about when it comes to delicious single malt Scotch.’ And little did I know that it was such an intense and particular flavor that it ruined me. I’m not persnickety, if there’s whiskey to be had then we’re in luck, but when given my druthers I always have asked for Lagavulin—it became my easy favorite.”

It turns out that lagavulin becoming part of the show wasn’t just because Offerman enjoyed the whiskey about all others. When he found it in his desk as part of the scene he had figured the prop department had found out what his drink of choice was in secret. It turned out that it was also the favored whiskey of the creator of the show, Mike Schur. If you would like to read more on this interview then visit the dailybeast.com.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan then you may have seen a certain whiskey collection available in honor of the show. The show focuses on families and their fight to gain control of the “Iron Throne”. One of those families is the Lannister Family. They play a rather large part in the show and when it came time to select whiskey for their limited edition bottling they chose Lagavulin for the Lannisters. There are 8 bottles in the collection total and each bottle is labeled with the whiskey information as well as the Game of Thrones Family Crests. If you happen to pick up one of these bottles you can keep it in this awesome Whiskey Decanter from Amazon.

The Unique Whiskey has being featured in Parks and Rec has also been shown in TV shows like Angel, The West Wing, and The Walking Dead. It has also been featured in movies as well including 28 Days Later, Steig Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, and the 2015 film Aloha.

How To Enjoy Lagavulin

If you are going to spend anywhere from $70 to $300 on a bottle of Lagavulin, then you will want to properly enjoy it. Here are our tips for getting the maximum enjoyment out of this drink.

Use a stemmed, tulip whiskey glass. You don’t want to handle the glass because it will warm the whiskey and alter the flavor. You can also try these custom lagavulin crested whiskey glasses.
Swirl the whiskey gently in the glass and then pass it under your nose a few times to see if you can get the aromas. There should be several you can pick up on.
Add a small amount of water if you would like. Water interacts with the whiskey in a good way as long as you don’t add more than ⅕ of the amount you are drinking.
Do NOT add ice. This can dull the flavors and aromas. If you are the type that can’t drink a room temperature beverage then by all means, do what you need to do. However, you’re missing out on the full effect.
When you do drink, take a sip and let the whisky sit on your tongue for a moment to get a full grasp of the flavors.

Here at hmmwhat2drink.com, we strive for a commitment to excellence. We enjoy our beers, spirits, and specialty drinks as much as the next, but we urge you to drink responsibly. These articles and recipes are intended for adults and as such, should be used in the proper context. So have fun, relax, but do it responsibly in your home or with a designated driver. If you have any suggestions please email us at hmmwhat2drink@gmail.com.

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