Lagavulin Whisky Distillery

Lagavulin Whisky Distillery & Story

Lagavulin whisky distillery, like all those on Isle of Islay, was built on the shoreline to make possible the easier receipt of supplies and dispatch of whisky in small coastal vessels. Situated on the south shoreline of the island between Ardbeg and Laphroaig.

The Lagavulin (lah-gah-voo-lin) distillery produces  a smokey phenolic malt whisky.

How the Lagavulin Whisky Distillery story began

Illicit distilling had been carried out at Lagavulin for many years before.

John Johnston established the first of two distilleries at Lagavulin in 1816.

The following year a second distillery, Ardmore, was built by Archibald Campbell. Johnston takes over both distilleries in 1825.

By 1837 the was one distillery remaining, under Donald Johnston control.

In 1852 ownership passed to John Crawford Graham.

James Logan Mackie & Co acquires the distillery in 1867 and the distillery is refurbished.

During 1878 Peter Mackie joins the company. He inherits the distillery on the death of his uncle James  Mackie in 1889.

The following year the company becomes Mackie & Co. Peter Mackie launches the soon to be famous “White Horse” blend into the export market. The blend is released into the UK market in 1901.

Part of the older distillery buildings are used for the new Malt Mill distillery in 1908.

During 1924 Peter Mackie passes away, the distillery becomes White Horse Distillers Ltd.

Three years later became part of DCL. Who passed control to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD) in 1930.

A fire breaks out and the distillery suffers considerable damage during 1952.

Lagavulin whisky distillery was renovated in 1962. The mill distillery closes. now home to the visitor centre.

The in house floor maltings are stopped in 1974.  Malt now comes from the Port Ellen malting plant.

Major contributor to White Horse blends.

The Lagavulin Whisky Distillery

Founded in 1816 by John Johnston.

Location; Islay region, South shore district.

Water source, The Solan Lochs.

Lagavulin Whisky Distillery Equipment;

Porteous Mill.

4.4 ton Stainless steel full lauter mash tun.

10 Larch washbacks. Fermenting time of 55 hours.

4 Pear shaped pot stills with wide necks and steeply angled downward Lyne arms.

The wash stills have a pronounced curve in the swan neck.

Brass spirit safe.

Both the stills and safe made by Abercombie of Alloa.

Matured in American oak bourbon casks with some European sherry casks used for finishing. Mainly warehoused on the mainland.

Lagavulin Single Malt whisky core range consists of:

12 year old cask strength, 16 year old, and Distillers edition finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

Limited edition include releases for Fies Isle festivals.

A distinctively Islay malt, powerful and demanding, complex with a dominant aroma of sea salt, peat and sherry.

Dry smokey flavour with oily grassy notes complimented by a trace of sherry sweetness.

Lagavulin whisky Distillery
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Our Top 3 Lagavulin whiskies

Lagavulin whisky distillery stills

Take a tour of the Lagavulin distillery

The Lagavulin distillery visitors centre is well worth a visit and regularly run guided tours of the distillery throughout the course of the day.

A number of the tours include tasting sessions where you can sample some of the drams they have to offer.

Click here for more information on the Lagavulin visitors centre

Our Lagavulin Whisky Range - In stock and available to buy