It goes without saying that a significant portion of what makes Scotch so alluring is the exclusivity and history of sipping single malts. Fans of well-aged whiskeys frequently say, "I'll have a scotch old enough to order its own scotch," but Scotland has much more to offer than simple age claims.
Scotland is incredibly diverse throughout the nation. The regionality of Scotch whiskey allows it to shine, even at younger ages, despite the climate being fairly stable and somewhat less dramatic than Kentucky, which is a major factor in the variation in profile at age for the two spirits.
The Case for Lagavulin
One of the most well-known and prosperous purveyors of single malt scotch whisky for a very long time is Lagavulin. Lagavulin 16 is a standard for many people, frequently the centerpiece of a bar's portrayal of the Scottish island of Islay, and even attained cult status with the debut of Parks and Recreation.
With one character's fervent love of Lagavulin—Ron Swanson—following the blunders of a Parks and Recreation department in a small Indiana town, the well-known comedy became a major inspiration for Lagavulin 16.
The younger Offerman version, an 11-year single malt finished in Guinness beer casks, was released in 2021. This is Lagavulin's second offering of a Nick Offerman edition. Offerman is the well-known actor who plays Ron Swanson.
Although the 11yr is a full five years younger than Lagavulin 16, many people questioned whether it was a better whisky. There is nothing wrong with Lagavulin 16, but even at the same proof and similar pricing points, the bottling lacks the liveliness that the 11-year Offerman edition gives.