If you’re looking for the perfect bottle of single malt whisky to give as a gift this year, Nick Offerman has you covered. The Devs actor is once again collaborating with famed Islay distillery Lagavulin to make a special Ron Swanson-approved whisky. This year’s limited edition release is another in what we hope will be a long line of great whiskies from Offerman and Lagavulin.
Back in October of 2019, Lagavulin dropped the Offerman Edition Aged 11 Years. It was very popular with whisky fans, critics, and Offerman’s fan base and left us all awaiting a sophomore release from the woodworking comedian. Now the wait is over — as announced in the recently launched, “Nick Offerman’s Father’s Day Part Five.” In the video, Offerman is seen enjoying a pint of Guinness (which is owned by the same parent company as Lagavulin) with his father in a classic pub. Someone hands him a rotary phone and he’s told that the distillery made too much whisky and they have no place to put it. Without his help, “it’s all going to go to waste.”
Obviously, Offerman springs into action and finds the perfect barrels for his beloved whisky. He strolls into the Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore and asks if he can have some Guinness barrels. He then calls the Lagavulin employee back and tells him that he has it covered. The shot pulls out to reveal that the actor is sailing a barrel-filled boat from Maryland to Scotland. It’s an admittedly silly introduction to Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish, but it’s also quaint and fun.
Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask
The juice in the bottle is an eleven-year-old Lagavulin single malt. It’s then finished for four months in barrels that once held Guinness at Baltimore’s Open Gate Brewery. Like all of Lagavulin’s expressions, this one has a heavy dose of briny peat-smoke that’s tempered by the sweet, coffee, caramel, and chocolate qualities of the Guinness barrels.
Ocean brine and peat smoke are very much at the forefront. There’s also a great deal of honey and vanilla, as well as the smell of the island of Islay itself (think moss, sea sprayed beach rocks, and wet fields). Drinking it is like taking a trip to Islay and spending the day enjoying freshly brewed coffee and buttery toffee as you breathe in the salty sea air. There’s also a nice chocolate fudge flavor that likely comes from the Guinness. It’s all rounded out with a surprisingly sweet, smoky final note.
Lagavulin uses one of the most classic and iconic bottles in the world of Scotch whisky. The green-brown tinge with a slightly bulbous neck just feels old-school on your bar cart. This expression stands out thanks to a cameo image of Offerman above the main label. At the very least, it makes for a great conversation starter.
While this might seem like a gimmick, there’s a lot more going on with this expression than you’d think. It even won Double Gold Medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Resting in Guinness barrels adds pleasing coffee and chocolate notes that play surprisingly well with the ocean salinity, vanilla beans, and peaty smoke. All in all, a really pleasurable sipping experience.
95/100 – This bottle is something different. It has more chocolate notes and overall sweetness than some of its counterparts at Lagavulin but the expected peat smoke remains prevalent. I loved every sip and would definitely buy it again. Offerman fans who also like smoky whisky will be downright thrilled.
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