By Rob Allanson

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Star letter - Budget blues As an enthusiastic consumer of single malt on a budget I have noted an anomaly. As I scour the supermarket shelves for offers I have noticed one malt which is never discounted. It sits impervious to the reductions surrounding it at a steady £37 to £40, and above, price.As a fan of Islay malts, it is therefore frustrating to have to pass it by and choose another instead. I am referring to the mighty Lagavulin 16 Years Old of course.Karl Hahm in issue 74 wrote of his concern that this precious malt is being tinkered off Islay and filled into casks in Stirlingshire. I would love to know why this mighty malts is always sold at a £10 premium above its rivals?I have read of a shortage of Lagavulin in the late 1980s but surely this cannot explain the price in 2008? As a frustrated consumer can someone shed any light on this, both the price and the lack of any offers.Many thanks and here's hoping to discovering more on Caol Ila, my current favourite dram.Dave Garrett Sheffield Rum issue I have enjoyed Whisky Magazine since the first issue.There have been malts I could only imagine savouring, so the notes from Dave (very occasionally a little esoteric), Martine and the very dear, late Michael, have helped to fill that gap.I have the pleasure and privilege of selling wines and spirits at a superstore that is well known for the quality of training it provides for its specialists. I can occasionally give sway with boring erudicity on whisky, but perhaps not as impressively on other spirits.Which is why I was pleased to discover the article added on rum . A new dimension to an superb magazine.Perhaps in a year's time or so a little couplet expanding cognacs? Many thanks for my horizon expansion! No I haven't switched allegiance, malt will always be my delight to savour with good company.Howard Mills Bury St Edmunds