Lagavulin 8 – A Celebration of the People and the Craft of Scotch

WRITTEN BY TERESA GRECO

Deciding on the perfect gift for someone who has a penchant for craftsmanship and a deep love of history and tradition can be a challenge. What do you give the person who believes that no matter how busy and fast life gets, it’s all for nothing if you don’t slow down to savour what you really love?

This is no ordinary person, who calls for no ordinary gift. Why not elevate your gift this holiday by giving the gift of quality time and enjoy a glass of Lagavulin 8 together?

Inspired by the visit of Alfred Barnard to the Lagavulin distillery in the 1880s when he tried an ‘exceptionally fine’ eight-year-old Scotch from the distillery, this special bottle serves as a fitting tribute for the brand’s big milestone – 200th anniversary – which took place in 2016 and is likely to leave a lasting impression for your special moments as well.

What makes this a gift to remember?

Originally released to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Lagavulin distillery by John Johnston in 1816, the Lagavulin 8-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is big and smoky. Named after Lagavulin Bay, on the Isle of Islay just off the west coast of Scotland, Lagavulin is the island’s greatest export. One thing that has never changed is the smooth, rich, and peaty flavour that Islay’s soil brings to Lagavulin’s Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

It’s a celebration of the people and craft that have made Lagavulin great over the last two centuries, its maritime aromas are unlocked with just a drop of water or sipped neat in a whisky-nosing glass.

What will make this experience so memorable this holiday? Let’s unwrap it.

Once in your glass you lean in and on the nose, it’s immediately quite soft and clean, followed by 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 now develops, while the trademark Lagavulin dryness emerges as fresh newsprint. Softer, fuller, and more rounded with water: it’s not hugely fruity, but there’s just a trace of red berry preserve, perhaps, beneath the smokiness, which comes sharply into focus.

With a light body that becomes pleasantly oily, the Lagavulin 8-Year-Old palate boasts a magnificently full-on Lagavulin taste that’s somehow even bigger than you expect. On the palate, there’s 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 is still mighty yet more succulent, sweeter, spicier, and now tongue-tingling, mint-fresh and warming.

The finish is 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.

While finding the ideal gift for a discerning certain someone can be complicated, the ‘anorak’ (a whiskey enthusiast) knows that Single Malts are about savouring the quality and the time devoted to their making. The limited-edition, beautifully pristine presentation box makes Lagavulin 8-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky the perfect gift for lovers of peaty and powerful whiskies.