The construction of the hypermodern Lagg Distillery started in 2017. She opened her doors to the public in July 2019. Production is led by the new manager Graham Omand, assisted by James McTaggart – who has 40 years of experience. All 22 employees of Lagg live on the island. Obviously we still have to wait for three years at least before the first whisky is ready, but you can already try the new make which is offered in 20cl bottles. Thanks to my buddy Anthony, I was able to try it. He knows – like most of do as well – that I have a soft spot for new make.
From the moment I pour my glass, I notice this is heavily peated stuff. Research learns it is 50ppm. That makes for a nose full of stable scents, cooked ham and wonderful notes of barley. Completely devoid of fruit, however. Green beans galore. Hay. Pig stye. Spicy. Good new make on the nose.
Sturdy arrival, but that is no surprise. This is cut to 63.5% ABV, the strength at which the spirit is put in cask for maturation. The peat is unmistakable, but this new make suddenly turns surprisingly sweet. That must be the barley sugars, but it feels as if someone dropped a cube of sugar in my glass. Pleasant surprise.
The finish is piquant, warm and very sweet.
It is very different from the peated new make from Arran that is used for the Machrie Moor expression. This one is better in my opinion. Cleaner, sweeter, promising. A good measure of this new make with a cube of ice is no punishment, believe me.