Lagavulin unveils single cask charity bottling

3rd January, 2017 by Annie Hayes

Islay distillery Lagavulin has concluded its 200th anniversary year with the release of single cask bottling Lagavulin 1991, the proceeds of which will benefit charities on the island.

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The cask was selected by the distillery team and Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo

Proceeds of the “extremely limited” 24-year-old edition – made up of 522 bottles – are set to exceed £0.5 million (US$0.6m), which will be divided between seven charities.

The largest donation is £310,000 to Islay Heritage, and will fund research at Dunyvaig Castle, the creation of an Islay Heritage trail, and conservation work focusing on Kildalton chapel and education.

The remaining six charities will receive between £10,000 and £60,000 each, and include the McTaggart Cyber Café, Islay & Jura Community Enterprises Ltd., McTaggart Leisure Centre, the Finlaggan Trust, Islay Arts, Islay Festival Association, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The Lagavulin 1991 Single Malt Scotch Whisky cask was selected by the distillery team and Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo.

“We all work in Scotch because we love it,” said Nick Morgan, head of Whisky Outreach, Diageo. “Lagavulin is a whisky and a place that stirs us all both personally and professionally. Being able to launch a bottling like this that will have a deep impact on the magical island of Islay for generations to come is a career highlight.

“This is just one way in which we want to express our affection for the people who have welcomed us – Ileachs and others – to work and live on Islay for the last 200 years.”

The expression is described as “hot and sweet” on the palate, with “woody dryness”, mint chocolate, honey, and a “subtle chilli-like heat”; “gentle, well balanced and fresh throughout” on the finish.

“We will all be raising a dram to years gone by and an exciting future ahead of us and this incredible island, as we close a year of spectacular celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the distillery,” said Georgette Crawford, distillery manager at Lagavulin.

“This whisky is truly memorable in its complexity and unique in the way our distinctive distillery’s character shines through. The range and ambition of the projects we are supporting is something that as an Ileach I feel very deeply about and I am so proud to see the proceeds of our iconic whisky benefit the local community in such an unforgettable way.”

Bottles are available for purchase via a ballot on The Whisky Exchange, priced at £1,494 to reflect date of the first ever recorded distillation of Scotch whisky. The ballot will be drawn on 12 February, with bottles allocated at random.

Bottle No. 1 will be auctioned separately to increase the amount of money raised for charity.

Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of The Whisky Exchange, added: “As soon as we heard about this special project, we wanted to be involved. For me, Lagavulin is one of the most amazing whiskies from Scotland, and the 16-year-old in particular is a personal all-time favourite.

“We look forward to working with our friends at Diageo to secure a lasting legacy for the whole of Islay through this historic, one-off limited release.”

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