Distillery History Founded 1816 by John Johnston. The name is from the Gaelic Laggan Mhouillin - 'hollow where the mill is". Control passes to Peter Mackie 1890. Second distillery, Malt Mill, opened 1908. Explosion and fire 1952 - rebuild brings mash tuns entirely under cover for the first time. Malt Mill closed and stills transferred to Lagavulin still-house, 1962. All four stills converted to steam heating, 1969.
Long Fermentation and Maturation The definitive Islay Malt. One of Scotland's "essential" distilleries, on a cramped, chaotic, wildly romantic site. Demand heavily exceeds supply. Intense character from own richly peaty water supply; heavily peated barley; unusually long fermentation - up to 75 hours; slowest distillation of any Islay malt; long maturation.
Food Pairing Intense, peat rich, sweet and salty; works in an extraordinary way with intensely flavoured salty blue cheeses. For example, Roquefort, Stilton, aged Gorgonzola, Lanark blue. Also excellent with anchovies on toast.
Appearance Golden treacle Nose Intense peat and vanilla. A raisiny sweetness checks the smoke. Iodine-edged peat and crisp, roasty malt. Satisfying and enticing. Body Full, rich. Palate Sweet and luscious; clear, grassy malt, then the peat attacks, smoke filling the mouth. A very salty tang at one point; the middle offers coffee and vanilla with a glimmer of fruit. Finish Incredibly long, even for Islay. Fruit, peat, and long-lasting oak. Very chewable and more-ish.