Printed on the front label of this bottle of Lagavulin 16:
“Time,” say the islanders, “Takes out the fire but leaves in the warmth.”
Such is the poetic wisdom of the people of Islay, Scotland, about their single malt whiskies.
The Lagavulin distillery is known for its slow distillation and long maturation period. True to its reputation, this Lagavulin 16 is smoky, warm, full of flavor, but without being aggressive at all. I even found it a bit quiet on first tasting, but there was plenty of complexity and intrigue once it sank in. It is a subtle and respectable whisky worthy of repeated and patient tasting indeed.
Lagavulin, together with Ardbeg and Laphroaig, are 3 iconic distilleries located in the south side of Islay close to Port Ellen. At one point in the 19th century they were all owned by one John Ramsay. They must have a rich shared history, which I look forward to discovering along the way.
Lagavulin is an anglicization of the Gaelic phrase “lag a’mhuilin”, which means “hollow by the mill.”