If you want to taste a robust whisky then you have to try Lagavulin whisky. This whisky has a peat smokeked powerful aroma and flavor, is extremely flavorful, well rounded and smooth and leaves behind a slight sweetish taste on the palette.
The Lagavaulin whisky is a single malt that comes from the island of Islay. This part of Scotland has a deep history and is also considered to be the cradle of early Christianity. However, malt whisky distilling has given this extremely fertile land a new vocation. Most of the areas around this part are still Gaelic speaking and tirelessly produce one of the best sprits there is.
The sea has played a great role in shaping much of this area and giving it its romantic setting. Islay means peat when translated. It is the endless miles of peat in the western part of the island which provide most of the raw materials needed to make many of the single malts that come from this area and one can safely say that Lagavulin is the best known.
Water plays a very important role in whisky making and the previous owner of Lagavaulin made sure that the Lagavaulin distillery does not share its water with anyone. This is despite the fact that the distillery shares one coastline with two other distilleries as well. Achieving this result was definitely not an easy task but Peter Mackie made sure that he gets what he wanted for his distillery and secured the legacy of Lagavaulin.
Barley used in the distillation process of Lagavaulin whiskey comes from the neighboring area of Port Ellen. This malt has a very strong peaty aroma as this region gets twenty times more peat smoke exposure. In order to get the full rich peat aroma the fermentation process is made to be a slow one. It usually takes fifty five to seventy five hours to get this malted barley to come through.
There are four stills at the Lagavaulin distillery out of which two are pear shaped. These stills also play a crucial role in the distillation process and give this whisky the unique flavor it has. In time with its original distillation practice, Lagavaulin whisky today continues to receive the slowest distillation process in comparison to any other Islay single malt. It takes around five hours to complete its first step of distillation and more than nine hours for the second round of distillation.
Much like the entire motion of Islay, there is nothing which is rushed about Lagavaulin whisky. This whisky is aged for a minimum of sixteen years in European casks made out of oak. These oak casks are kept in white painted warehouses and lie breathing in the sea salted air of Islay as the storage areas are all located near the shore.
It is the time consuming and time giving process of a long distillation, fermentation and long maturation that give the Lagavaulin its length and great depth of character and body.