Celebrated Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky distillery releases an Eight Year Old bottling in honour of original whisky scribe Alfred Barnard – now available to travellers…
2016 is a year of celebration for Lagavulin, a great Single Malt Scotch Whisky that has been crafted and distilled by Scottish islanders with passion and skill for 200 years. Marking this milestone year, the distillery has launched a special limited edition bottling of Lagavulin 8 Year Old in honour of Britain’s most famous Victorian whisky writer, Alfred Barnard. Considered one of the most special of all Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, this treasured gem is now available in travel retail outlets.
In the late 1880s, Alfred Barnard, the first ever whisky journalist and traveller, sampled an 8 Year Old Lagavulin during a visit to Islay, describing it as “exceptionally fine” and ‘held in high repute’. He went on to declare Lagavulin to be “one of the most prominent” of the few Scotch Distillers that can turn our spirit for use as single [Malt] Whiskies.
Famous for its majestic nose of Hebridean peat smoke with richly textured and complex flavours, Lagavulin 8 Year Old’s long, sweet and power-driven finish encapsulates the passion, heritage and skills that lie behind its crafting. The launch of this special limited edition bottling kicks off the start of the distillery’s bi-centennial activities that include bringing people to Islay and bringing Islay to as many people from around the globe as possible.
Peter Fairbrother, Diageo GTME Global Marketing Director said: “Single Malts represent the fastest growing segment of the whisky category in travel retail, growing 12.5% in the last recorded year and now valued at $800M*. Diageo has the largest portfolio in this flourishing category and we are proud to own over 40% of the industry’s inventory. With this breadth to our portfolio, we are delighted to be able to bring rare and special whiskies – such as this limited edition Lagavulin 8 Year Old – to travellers across the globe.”
Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach added: “This is a special year for a much loved Single Malt Scotch Whisky revered around the world as the definitive Islay whisky. We are thrilled to begin the celebrations for such an historic occasion with the launch of the first Lagavulin 8 Year Old for many years.”
Lagavulin has delighted generations of whisky drinkers and this Lagavulin 8 Year Old acknowledges the 200 year legacy of this distillery. Cramped and chaotic by nature, this sea front distillery can never be expanded and therefore demand often exceeds supply, adding to it desirability in the travel retail market. In the words of Alfred Barnard, ’no prettier or more romantic spot could have been chosen for a distillery.’
This specially developed whisky will be available twice during the course of the year and carries an RRSP of GBP 41.40/ USD 88.65/ EUR 72.00.
Nose: Immediately quite soft with clean, fresh notes, faint hints of milk chocolate and lemon and then developing fragrant tea-scented smoke alongside nose-drying, maritime aromas, with subtle cereal. A prickliness seen earlier now develops, while the trademark Lagavulin dryness emerges as fresh newsprint. Softly sooty. Softer, fuller and more rounded with water: it is not hugely fruity but there is just a trace of red berry preserve, perhaps, beneath the smokiness, which comes sharply into focus.
Body: Light, growing pleasantly oily.
Palate: A soothing light texture, with a magnificently full on Lagavulin taste that’s somehow even bigger than you expect; sweet, smoky and warming, with a growing, smoky pungency, then dry, with more smoke. Charred, with minty, dark chocolate. Beautifully balanced midpalate then salty, oven-charred baked potato skins and smoke. Water rounds things, the taste still mighty yet more succulent, sweeter, spicier and now tongue-tingling, mint-fresh and warming.
Finish: Lovely; clean, very long and smoky. Smoothly, subtle minted smoke surrounds chocolate tannins, leaving a late drying note to emerge in time. It’s warming, soft and still smoky with water, not as long or intense now, yet still leaving the palate dry as sweet smoke lingers on the breath.
The origins of Lagavulin
Local records suggest that Lagavulin was already a centre of whisky production in the early 18th century.
So there had almost certainly been many other illicit stills before John Johnston founded the ﬁrst legal distillery at Lagavulin Bay in 1816. As with all Scottish distilleries, it passed through the hands of different owners, including the celebrated Sir Peter Mackie, whose company became White Horse Distillers, forever associated with Lagavulin. White Horse joined The Distillers Company Ltd. (eventually Diageo) in 1927. In 1989, Lagavulin, now normally bottled at 16 years rather than the original 12, became one of the six Classic Malts of Scotland™.
See more about Lagavulin here
Copyright The Duty Free Hunter 2019