Lagavulin Distillery was founded in 1816 by John Johnston. In 1867 it was acquired by James Logan Mackie, whose nephew Peter Mackie created White Horse blend in the 1880s with Lagavulin malt being a backbone of the brand.
Today Lagavulin is one of the hottest single malts, the distillery produces close to 2.5 million liters of spirit per annum and impressive 98% is bottled as single malt. The flagship expression is 16 years old but occasionally Diageo includes some older versions into their prestigious Special Releases range. In 2002 it was 1977 Vintage bottled at natural strength of 57.2% abv after spending 25 years in European and American oak. Only 9000 bottles were produced.
Nose: complex, distinctive sherry notes, oranges, mango, prunes, caramel, dark chocolate, sweet cereals, pepper, tobacco, touch of salt and peat smoke.
Palate: nicely balanced, mix of peat and sherry characteristics, caramel, honey, ground coffee, dash of salt and pepper, peat smoke and subtle oaky bitterness.
Finish: long, slightly bitter and salty, dark chocolate, peat, tobacco, licorice and oak.