Mit Glenfarclas holst Du Dir einen wuchtigen, würzigen und Sherry getriebenen Whisky ins Glas. Seit Generationen in der Hand der Familie Grant ist Glenfarclas heute eine der letzten Destillerien in schottischer Hand. Du bekommst einen ehrlichen, ungefärbten Whisky - einen echten Oldschool Scotch!
Lagavulin whisky - The Discovery of Slowness
On the island of Islay, on whose south coast Lagavulin lies, the clocks tick a little slower than elsewhere. As anyone who has ever been there will confirm. And Lagavulin is particularly leisurely. The distillery produces its whisky using the slowest burning process of all Islay Malts: the first run lasts over five hours, the second over nine. The whisky for the distillery's flagship then rests in the cask for 16 years before it is bottled. The longest time a distillery takes for its standard bottling.
And this at a distillery that for decades was managed by a man known as "Restless Peter", Peter Mackie. Alongside its direct Laphroaig and Ardbeg, Lagavulin is the Islay single malt that made the smoky Scotch whisky socially acceptable. whisky lovers all over the world love its smoky and maritime character. This special Islay character resonates in almost all Islay malts, each with its own note.
Where is the Lagavulin Distillery? Lagavulin is located in the town of the same name, on the south coast of the island of Islay in Scotland.
What does Lagavulin mean? The translation is “The valley with the mill”.
3 reasons to love Lagavulin
1) Because Lagavulin is a classic and the whisky is just wonderful.
2) Because the smoke is delicious and the whisky is just wonderful.
3) Because the whisky is just so wonderful!
How does Lagavulin whisky taste?
As its two south coast neighbours, Laphroaig and Ardbeg, Lagavulin is unmistakably Islay! Powerful, complex and at the same time round and soft. A full body with intense smoke, peat and sweet caramel. Like roasted cereal and ham by the campfire, just lovely.
Our Lagavulin recommendation
The Lagavulin 16 year old is the standard original bottling of the distillery and a timeless classic. At 16 years old, this single malt has everything that defines Lagavulin. An all-round successful, smoky Scotch for those who like it powerful and peaty. A malt like a roaring stove.
How is Laphroaig Single Malt made?
Laphroaig single malt whisky is made at the same-named whisky distillery on the island of Islay. Islay is in the south-west of Scotland and can only be reached by ferry or plane. Much of Islay's small population works in one of the nine whisky distilleries. So it can happen that you meet the tour guide and distillery employee David in the evening in the pub, where he makes music.
Laphroaig is made from peated malt. The distillery obtains some of the smoky peat malt from the maltings in Port Ellen, and some it malts and smokes itself. Laphroaig is one of the few whisky distilleries in Scotland that still have their own active malting floors. Most whisky producers have given this complex production step to large industrial malthouses. However, it is important to Laphroaig to retain part of the special unique character. Staff swear Laphroaig whisky wouldn't be the same without its own kiln.
After the malt has been laid out on the malting floors to germinate and turned, it is dried in the kiln. The malt is smoked here over a peat fire for 12 to 15 hours. This is where the hand-cut Laphroaig peat comes into play. The peat is cut on the company's own peatbogs. So smoky whiskys are also called peated whiskys in Scotland. A heavily smoky whisky like Laphroaig is said to be heavily peated. The smoke content of whisky is given in ppm (phenol parts per million). Their own peated malt has a phenol content of 50-60ppm while Port Ellen's peat malt has a phenol content of 45ppm. Usually this is mixed and so an average of the Laphroaig smokiness of about 50 ppm is achieved.
The finished malt is ground in our own mill and further processed in the 5.5 ton mash tun, the Mash Tun (Full Lauter). Here the sugar is removed from the malt grist. Several batches of hot water ensure that the sugar dissolves in the hot water. The sweet liquid from this process is called 'wort' in Scotland, and wort in ours. It continues to ferment for at least 53 hours. At Laphroaig, this takes place in six stainless steel washbacks.
After the wash has finished fermenting, it goes on to the distillation. Laphroaig's Still House looks almost like a large organ. Laphoraig's copper pot stills line up neatly. They vary in size and shape. Laphroaig uses a complicated but very successful distillation method. Laphroaig's spirit is surprisingly smooth. There are three wash stills, three spirit stills and another larger spirit still. The lyne arms of the pot stills are tilted upwards, allowing heavy components to fall back. This increases the copper contact of the alcohol vapor, which is said to contribute to the smooth character of Laphroaig New Makes.
Laphroaig Single Malt is matured primarily in ex-Bourbon casks. Ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads make up the bulk of Laphroaig's cask inventory. The medicinal-phenolic character of the Islay distillery unfolds well in American white oak casks. Sherry casks are also used from time to time, as with the Laphroaig PX Cask, Laphroaig Lore and the Laphroaig 10 Years Sherry Oak. A trademark of Laphroaig is the bottling in the rather unusual increased drinking strength of 48% vol. The bottlings with this alcohol strength are not chill-filtered (non-chill-filtered), so they have a greater depth of aroma than the variants with 40% vol.
A bit of history on Lagavulin
What is documented: In 1837, the Lagavulin distillery in its current form was formed when two distilleries in the bay on Islay's south coast were merged. One of them was founded in 1816 by John Johnston, the other a year later by Archibald Campbell. It is no longer possible to say exactly how much of which building is now in today's Lagavulin distillery. In general, the founding year of the "first-born parent", i.e. 1816, is given as the year of origin of Lagavulin. Around the turn of the century, Lagavulin belonged to the extremely active Peter Mackie for a while. Among other things, he created the successful blend “White Horse” and built another distillery called Malt Mill on the site in 1908.
However, it has long been closed, and the Lagavulins Visitor Center is located in its former malt house. In the 2012 film "The Angels' Share" played a fictional Malt Mill, among other things, a leading role. It's interesting that the owner Diageo didn't really believe in the success of the heavily smoky single malt at first. It was promoted in the Classic Malts Collection with other typical representatives of their whisky regions. Who would have thought: Lagavulin is today the most successful single malt in the Classic Malts series.
Recommendations in the Laphroaig range
Basically, we can recommend the entire Laphroaig range.
The Laphroaig 10 year old is the flagship of the Islay distillery and a perfect introduction to the range. With a mild 40% vol. and around 10 years of age, the Laphroaig 10 years offers you a great experience. The peat smoke is complemented here with liquorice and sea spray. Typical iodine, delicate oak, light fruits and black pepper await you on the palate.
The Laphroaig Select is the budget variant of the Islay distillery and is also suitable for beginners. Even bottled at 40% vol., however, it lacks an age statement compared to the 10-year-old. In a direct comparison, we would probably go for the Laphroaig 10 years old, but tastes are known to differ ;).
A great recommendation and alternative to the Laphroaig 10 year old is the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. This Laphroaig variant was finished in smaller casks, the quarter casks. The Laphroaig Quarter Cask has added an extra portion of toffee and vanilla favours. The increased drinking strength of 48% vol. also gives it more depth. The phenolic peat smoke mixes with rum sweetness and cigar box. Simply delicious and great value for money!
Facts & Figures about Lagavulin
Address: Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, PA42 7DZ
Founded: 1816 by John Johnston
Region: Islay Whisky
Whiskey Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Smoke content: Heavily peated/ heavily smoky approx. 35 - 40 ppm
Water: Loch Sholum & Lochan Sholum
Mashtun: Full Lauter, stainless steel, 4.4 tons
Washbacks: 10, larch
Fermentation: 55 hours
Stills: 2 wash stills (12,300 l), 2 spirit stills (12,900 l)
Capacity: approx. 2,600,000 liters
Visitor Centre: Yes
Telephone: +44 (0)1496 / 302749
Directions to the Lagavulin Distillery2>
Fancy a portion of smoke and sherry? Then you have the choice between the Laphroaig PX Sherry and the Laphroaig 10 Years Sherry Oak Finish. The Laphroaig PX Cask is a generous variant for travel retail in the 1 liter bottle. The maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks gives it great fruit notes, marzipan and dark chocolate. The Laphroaig 10 Years Sherry Oak Finish, on the other hand, has an age indication of 10 years and was finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Barbecue aromas, bacon and maple syrup as well as spicy forest honey come out of the glass. Both bottlings have an aromatic vol. of 48% and are a recommendation. It's best to just compare directly.
The Laphroaig Four Oak is the travel retail equivalent of the Laphroaig PX without the sherry cask aging. The Laphroaig Four Oak also comes in a 1 liter bottle with a mild 40% vol. It is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, quarter casks, virgin American oak barrels and European oak hogsheads. These barrels clearly emphasize the light fruity and maritime-smoky character of Laphroaig. In a direct comparison, we would probably go for the Laphroaig Quarter Cask with 48% vol.
The Laphroaig Lore was presented a few years ago as "THE" Laphroaig, which combines all the properties of the other bottlings. It is referred to as "The richest of the rich". And in fact it seems to us that the Laphroaig Lore is this the skilful composition of different cask types such as quarter casks, hogsheads, ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks make this Laphroaig special. Jim Murray named the Laphroaig Lore in his whisky Bible 2019 the best whisky in the category single malt Scotch whisky without age statement.
The annual Laphroaig 10 Years Cask Strength bottlings are always worth buying. The Laphroaig 10 Years Cask Strength is bottled in batches and at strong cask strength. These are the Laphroaigs for the aficionado and whisky connoisseur. With volume percentages above the 55% mark, unvarnished, brute aromas come into your glass. Each batch is individual as the cask composition varies. You absolutely have to try it!