Lagavulin Prices & Buyers’ Guide

Author: Nick Lappen

Updated:

Lagavulin is a highly rated brand of Islay single malt scotch produced in the village of Lagavulin, on the southern part of the Scottish island of Islay. It was officially founded in 1816, but it is likely that illegal and unlicensed distilling was taking place at the site for decades prior to the official founding of the distillery. The distillery’s name is an English pronunciation of a Scottish Gaelic term meaning “hollow of the mill”. The distillery and Scotch were featured on the popular television show “Parks and Rec” as the favorite scotch of fictional character Ron Swanson, which increased brand awareness and popularity in the United States.

Lagavulin Price List 2022

Below is the list of Lagavulin’s prices along with its ABV and bottle sizes:

Is Lagavulin worth the price?

Lagavulin is worthy of its price point, and while it’s hard to say it is a bargain, it isn’t overpriced by any means. While there may be other strong representations of the Islay style available for less, the quality of Lagavulin and its legacy make it a safe purchase. The 8-year old single malt is especially good value, as many prefer it to its more expensive 16-year old counterpart. With this brand, you get what you pay for, and what you pay for is high quality Islay Single Malt Scotch.

Alternatives to Lagavulin at Comparable Prices

  • Laphroaig

Probably the first name that comes to mind when Islay Scotch is mentioned, Laphroaig 10 is usually found at a slightly less expensive price point than its neighbor, Lagavulin’s 16 year old single malt, while costing a bit more than their 8 year old single malt. Their scotch is also highly regarded and considered a benchmark within the style. Their core line is a bit less subtle than Lagavulin’s, with huge peat and iodine notes dominating the flavor profile. It’s an excellent introduction to what you can expect from Islay Scotch, and is fantastic for use in cocktails calling for peated scotch.

  • Ardbeg

Another iconic name in Islay Scotch, Ardbeg makes heavily peated single malts which lean less towards the sea salt and oceanic flavors that Lagavulin and Laphroaig possess and more towards the malty, bready flavors and big campfire smoke often found in Islay Scotch. They make a 5 year old, a 10 year old, a 19 year old, and a 25 year old, as well as numerous bottlings without an age statement. 

  • Bruichladdich Octomore 

Among some of the most peated scotches produced, Bruichladdich Octomore is where you should look if you want that pure, just kissed the fireplace taste in your scotch. 

Reviewed: Lagavulin Product Line

Lagavulin 12 Year Old Single Malt

Lagavulin produces a range of products, but their 8 and 16 year old single malts are the core of their range. 

  • Lagavulin 8 year old Single Malt

This bottle was originally launched as a planned limited run to celebrate the distillery’s 200th anniversary, but received overwhelmingly positive reviews and responses. That response led the distillery to make it a permanent part of their line-up. You may find notes of baking spice, peat, burnt sugar, brine, and toasted nuts. It’s bottled at 48% ABV. Many find this bottle to be more flavorful than older offerings from the distillery.

  • Lagavulin 16 year old Single Malt

Lagavulin 16 is the flagship of the distillery, and is seen as a benchmark within the Islay style of Scotch. It is highly regarded by awarding bodies and aficionados alike. Drinkers may notice notes of peat, sherry, malt, green apple, oak, vanilla, and lapsang souchong tea. The 16 year old is bottled at 43% ABV, and pairs excellently with the intense flavors of blue cheese. 

  • Lagavulin 11 year old Offerman Edition Single Malt

Parks and Rec actor Nick Offerman portrayed famed Lagavulin lover Ron Swanson on television, but Ron’s love of the brand was inspired by Nick Offerman’s real feelings toward the scotch. In 2013 he launched a line of wood wares inspired by his love for Lagavulin, and in 2014 he collaborated with the brand to produce content for Fathers Day. Finally, in 2019, he worked with the brand to create his own bottling of Lagavulin, dubbed the Offerman edition. This bottle is a nice midpoint between the 8 and 16 year bottlings from Lagavulin. It has beautiful notes of green apples, peat smoke, seaweed, iodine, tobacco ash, and peppercorns. It is bottled at 46% ABV.

  • Lagavulin 11 year old Offerman Edition Guinness Cask Finish Single Malt

The second collaboration between Nick Offerman and Lagavulin, This bottle is similar to the first in that it is an 11 year old but is set apart by an additional four months of aging in ex-Guinness beer casks. In addition to the classic islay flavors of peat, smoke, iodine, and orchard fruit, you may notice honey, vanilla, toffee, white chocolate, and baked citrus. It’s bottled at 46% ABV.

  • Lagavulin House Lannister 9 year old Single Malt

Another television show tie in bottle, this 9 year old scotch was released as part of a Game of Thrones Scotch series which had a different distillery produce a single malt for each of the noble houses in Westeros. It has notes of charcoal, peat, toffee, and cider. and is bottled at 46% ABV. 

  • Lagavulin 12 Year Single Malt

One of Lagavulin’s more recent releases, the 12 year single malt is a cask strength annual release from Lagavulin which is available in limited quantities each year. Each yearly release is slightly different. It has a briney, smoked oyster note to it with the expected peatiness of a Lagavulin Scotch. You may also notice chocolatey notes as well as bready malts and oaky vanilla flavors. Bottled at 56.5% ABV, this drink is hotter than the core line of Lagavulin offerings.

  • Lagavulin 26 year Single Malt

A sherry cask aged offering from lagavulin. This is the highest-end bottling they produce, selling for over $2000, and is bottled at 44.2% ABV. It is described as having notes of marzipan, orange zest, honey, and cocoa with a very mild smokiness that has been tempered by its long aging process.

  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition 2020 and 2021

These limited run distillers’ editions were finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks and bottled at 43% ABV. The sherry cask aging imparts notes of raisins, dried fruits, and toasted nuts on top of the peat and smoke expected from Lagavulin. You may also find notes of green apple, citrus, vanilla, and salt.

History

While the distillery was officially founded in 1816 by John Johnston, illegal scotch distilling had been taking place on the site since 1742. Lagavulin was established between Laphroaig and Ardbeg, and began a long rivalry with the two. In 1837, Lagavulin absorbed a second distillery named Ardmore, which had shared the same location. In the mid-to late 1800’s, the distillery would change hands multiple times, eventually ending up under the control of James Logan Mackie and his nephew Peter Mackie. The brand would change its name to Mackie and Co. The Mackie family repaired and refurbished the distillery, and launched a blended whiskey called White Horse, which became available internationally. The success led Peter Mackie to construct a second facility on the site in 1908 called the Malt Mill. This facility was based off of Laphroaigs and led to a lawsuit between the two Scotch giants. When Peter Mackie died in 1924, the ownership group changed its name to White Horse Distillers. It was sold to Distillers Company Limited in 1927. The distillery would close during World War Two and suffer a major fire in the 1950’s. Production slowed under Distillers Company Limited, and by the 1980’s they were only opening the distillery to make whisky two days per week. In 1986, the distillery was sold to United Distillers, before being sold to its current ownership, Diageo, in 1997. 

Production

Lagavulin begins with water from Loch Sholum, which flows downhill to the distillery through peat. Lagavulin sources its malt from Port Ellen, using a blend made specifically for their distillery. They are known for their slow distillation speed and for using pear-shaped pot stills. Whisky is then aged in ex-bourbon and sherry barrels in a warehouse on the coast, which imparts the sea salt and iodine flavor associated with the style.

Cocktails

Peats Word

Equal parts

Lagavulin 

Green Chartreuse

Maraschino Liqueur

Lime Juice

Shake, Strain Up, Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Sand Fly

Equal Parts

Lagavulin

Campari

Spicy Ginger Syrup

Lemon Juice

Shake, Strain up, garnish with candied ginger. Created by Zac Pease at Attaboy in 2017

Sand Fly Cocktail