Tasting Notes: Lagavulin – Offerman Edition (Charred Oak Cask)

The partnership between Nick Offerman and Lagavulin is nearing a decade, and a lot has been said about the fantastic pairing, so I’ll avoid it for this piece save for the quote adorning each bottle which says it all:

I have travelled the world and sampled many attempts at pleasing nectars, but it is solely this distillation of Islay, a tiny, charismatic Scottish isle, that has claimed my palate, yea, and my heart into the bargain.

Nick Offerman

What we have here is a bottle that represents the third iteration of an Offerman Edition. The team have again created an 11 year old single malt from Lagavulin in collaboration with Nick Offerman and this time the mission is clear: smoke.

Offerman Edition – Charred Oak Cask

The marketing for this malt seems to have had even more fun and gusto than its predecessors with Nick Offerman being put through some Schwarzenegger/Stallone style escapades in order to get to his new malt. For Lagavulin fans, the sheer delight of Iain “Pinky” MacArthur playing the “baddie” in this promo makes it all the more enjoyable.

Lagavulin Poster (c) Diageo

The packaging of the bottle itself also emphasises the charring process with the lick of flames adorning the box set against the crocodile skin char of the barrel’s staves.

The whisky itself has been solely matured in a combination of American white oak casks and European oak casks which have been stripped back and heavily re-charred before housing the malt. The final malt is presented at 46% ABV.

Offerman Edition #3


La. Ga. Vu. Lin. It has their signature peat smoke just billowing out of the glass. It’s got peat, woodsmoke, and tobacco leaf all puffing away. There’s also a little fruity sweetness with a little apple and grape with a tiny bit of vanilla.


Smoke. Smoke. You smoking yet? Soft and sweet vanilla underneath the plumes of peat and wood smoke. Despite its 11 years, some of those original barley flavours appear too alongside its housing of good old oak. The taste is punctuated with a bitter chocolate/coffee note and a little berry sweetness.


Quite a strong and peppery fizzle on the tonsils. There is peat smoke again for sure, but there is also a little astringent and quite ashy finale.


This is all about the smoke. This Offerman Edition turns down the dials on the classic Lagavulin make-up whilst finally cranking up the volume knob on the peat. From the first whiff to the final whispers this ticks off the boxes of a good bonfire: from the smoke to the fire to the ash. There are the little hallmarks there of the berries and sweetness that round out the flagship Lagavulin 16 but this malt’s attention is focused on the peat and oak spice.

Pour. Drink. Three-peat.

To be honest, after two large glasses it does seem to be at risk of becoming one-dimensional. One of the many delicious things about the staple Lagavulin 16 is the combo of fruits and distinct peat smoke. Whilst the Offerman #2 (Guinness Edition) seemed to emphasise the fruitier and sweeter influences of Lagavulin, the threequel here is about smoke, char, and peat (three-peat?). That will delight and entice some whilst deterring others.

At this stage, I think it’s all about experimentation. If you look at it as the third in a series, rather than about being a bottle in its own right, then you can see that it is about exploring the elements that makes Nick Offerman hold Lagavulin so close to his heart. And it tastes good too. Don’t get me wrong. I like a smoky whisky and this is going to become the one to reach for if it is mostly smoke that I’m after. Whilst I am yet to pair it with a “perfectly cooked medium rare steak” [and I do intend on doing that!], at the end of the day, it is a fun addition to the Lagavulin back catalogue, it tastes good, and again aligns well with the Nick Offerman / Ron Swanson relationship. Definitely one for the Lagavulin fans to sit amongst others in the shelf.


Sample disclosure: I bought this bottle direct via malts.com. All notes are intended as an honest, fair, and independent review of the whisky. Please drink responsibly. Please drink wisely.

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