It’s been years since we waxed philosophical with a cow’s ass. The foul and stale air was a soup of synthetic plastics and hairspray. It was a typical night at Trinity Hall, one of oldest colleges at Cambridge. Tit Hall oozes tradition when you walked across its manicured lawns.
Trinity Hall’s most important social gatherings are vivas, themed parties in the college bar. The night we had Lagavulin 16 year old single malt scotch whisky was an animal fancy dress party. We’d chickened out. On our way back from the library, we pulled a pair of rabbit ears out of our back packs and tucked a fist full of cotton balls behind our belts. The two-man cow costume was utterly splendid and the hindquarters were feeling philosophical that night. She said that she and her front end had been talking about René Descartes’ axiom: ‘cogito, ergo sum,’ ‘I think, therefore I am.’ The two had been arguing if the reverse was also true: ‘sum, ergo cogito,’ ‘I am, therefore I think.’ It was a pretty typical Viva.
We argued that thinking isn’t as profoundly human as the feeling in your. ‘Sentio, ergo sum!’ We screamed: ‘I feel, therefore I am!’ Lagavulin 16 had just passed our lips for the first time. We were romantics.
An autumn night escapes into the air when you open a Lagavulin 16 whisky. The smoke of this Islay malt isn't a fog that envelops the flavours, it’s a mysterious mist that teases the senses. The Lagavulin distillery officially opened in 1816 but there had been illegal distilleries on the site as far back as 1742. In the 19th century, legal battles ensued amid claims that Lagavulin attempted to copy Laphroaig's style. But Lagavulin surpasses Laphroaig's medicinal acridity. Lagavulin is known for its slow distillation speed and pear shaped pot stills.
Nose: The smoke moves like Sherlock Holmes pulled tobacco through a curved Dunhill pipe lined with orange peels
Mouth: Spices and salt strewn over the dry fleshless bones of a witch who was burned at an oak stake
Throat: Long and sinewy, it drills into you like bolts through Frankenstein’s neck
The two wash stills at Lagavulin have a 11,000 litre capacity and the two spirit stills hold 12,500 litres each. Even a Cow’s ass would agree that, philosophically speaking, every litre is proof that God exists. And He wants us to be happy. You just feel it in your gut.
4/5 – Buy a measure of it. Everybody's got to believe in something. We believe we’ll have another of these.