Print Friendly and PDF

Tasting Lagavulin in the 21st Century

Not merely Ron Swanson’s preferred dram, Lagavulin marks its 200th anniversary in 2016. Crafted by the islanders of Islay since 1816, Lagavulin has shared the celebration in some very modern ways around the globe.

Lagavulin This Magnificent LifeKnowing few single malt aficionados will ever sample the isolated distillery’s wares; the distillery has come to the people. Via virtual reality, lucky fans are transported to Scotland for a special tour of the distillery.

Lagavulin This Magnificent Life
Image by Declan Roache

This was an opportunity to see, taste and even smell the creation of this distinctive whisky from the fields of barley to the bottle. Sean Baxter – the enthusiastic Classic Malts and National Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador, transported the assembled connoisseurs and media through this multi-sensory experience.

Lagavulin This Magnificent LifeWhilst enjoying the comfort and drawing room atmosphere of the Gresham we donned headsets and earphones. We first arrived at Lagavulin’s timber pier, complete with sounds of bobbing boats, chattering seagulls and lapping water. It’s was a chilly, cloudy day overlooking the rocky outcrops in the bay. It’s from here the whisky gathers up some of the salt and freshness of the water.

Lagavulin This Magnificent Life
Image by Declan Roache

Here at Islay, the whisky is smoky courtesy of the local peat used to fuel the kilning of the malted barley. We can smell the cereal as it sways in the breeze while the grain scent is released in the room. As the crackling fire of the kiln burns the peat moss, it dries the barley & halts the malting process giving the whisky its distinctive smoky flavour.

The still house is where the fruitiness arrives and we can hear the bubbling liquid as it is distilled and transported to the next stage.

Next the earthy aroma and sounds of the barrel room – quite literally rolling barrels. Here the whisky gets a sweet scent of vanilla from the American oak barrels.

The dramming room is suitably Scottish with oversized tartan covered chairs and with bottles and glasses lined up for sampling. Whisky lovers are assembling outside, walking up creaking stairs and preparing to imbibe. We then sampled the fine, smoky 16 Year Old.

Lagavulin This Magnificent Life
Image by Declan Roache

The warmth of the 12 year old was next met with the brininess of Sydney Rock oysters. Jamie Fleming – Diageo’s Reserve Brands Ambassador took us through this traditional pairing. The special limited edition bottling of Lagavulin 8 Year Old was left to last. We savoured it with salted caramel dark chocolate truffles. This made for a unique and delightful taste experience.

Lagavulin This Magnificent LifeLagavulin’s 200th Anniversary Limited Edition 8 Year Old is available now from all fine retailers.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Liz Bond

Liz Bond comes from a PR background and loves fine wine, great food and rewarding travel - all the magnificent things in life. She prides herself in an innate ability to meet famous celebrities at baggage carousels.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


We acknowledge the Turrbal people, as well as the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We respectfully recognise Elders, past, present, and emerging, and that Indigenous Sovereignty was never ceded.

Follow by Email