September Scotch: 200 Years of Lagavulin

New smoky single malt expressions unfold from the Islay distillery

In our two previous September Scotch explorations, we stuck to the Highlands of Scotland for one profile they’re commonly associated with and one that’s a true variation on it all. Now, however, we’re shifting to Islay—the famed, scenic island off the western coast. There, Lagavulin (another Anglicized Gaelic name, this time meaning “hollow by the mill”)—known for its peated, smoke-rich flavors—has just turned 200 years …

Interview: Bruichladdich Master Distiller Jim McEwan

How life on the isle of Islay, Scotland inspired a famed master distiller to help resurrect the historic whisky distillery

Sharing a glass of Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2006, master distiller Jim McEwan marvels over the oil content in the class. After decades at Bowmore and garnering countless awards, McEwan was tasked to reopen Bruichladdich in 2000 and restore some hope and much needed jobs in Islay, Scotland. At a recent tasting in Los Angeles, in anticipation of the release of their heavily peated Octomore 6.3 …

Bunnahabhain 40-Year-Old Scotch

An accidental discovery at this Islay distillery leads to a limited run whisky

Quietly hidden for over 40 years within the prestigious Bunnahabhain distillery on Scottish island Islay’s northern shore, a long-forgotten maturation continued to develop. When reviewing ledgers dating back decades, master distiller Ian MacMillan uncovered a missing series of Turney casks considered by some to be the finest oak casks ever made. Much to his surprise, the casks were filled with maturing malt whisky. This significant …