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Laphroaig 10 vs Lagavulin 8: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Laphroaig 10 vs Lagavulin 8 in this head to head comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Laphroaig 10

  • Nose: Smoke, caramel, oak, coffee
  • Palate: Charred oak, smoke, chocolate, honey, iodine
  • Finish: Smoke, caramel
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Laphroaig Select, Laphroaig 16


Laphroaig 10 does not smell nice as it offers a burnt rubber note up-front along seaweed. There are also hints of smoke, caramel, oak and espresso coffee.

On the palate, you get a blast of smoke and oak char up-front. As you let it develop, it becomes pleasantly sweet, rich in vanilla, caramel and chocolate.

Finish is long, smoky and mostly sweet with a rich mineral note to it and something that reminds of seaweed.

Is it good?

Laphroaig 10 is quite good, much better than how the described tasting notes suggest.

In fact, this is the best Scotch under $50 in the United States making it a keeper.

But don’t expect to love it on the first date as it hits with a foul smell and some challenging tasting notes.

Once you become acquainted to it you’re unlikely to revisit other drams as they will become bland.

If you are new to Scotch whisky or liquors in general this is definitely not for you, but if you have enjoyed some bourbons with high charred oak notes you are likely to appreciate the Laphroaig 10.

Laphroaig 10 facts:

  • Aged for 10 years in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks.
  • Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Named in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as 2019’s Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Years & Under.
  • Laphroaig Distillery was founded in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. It is named after the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island of Islay.
  • During Prohibition, it was one of the few liquors legally imported into the United States, as it was considered a medicinal spirit!

Lagavulin 8

  • Nose: Popcorn, roasted nuts, wood, burnt sugar
  • Palate: Smoke, oak, caramel, herrings
  • Finish: Smoke, ash, apples, almonds
  • Alcohol content: 96 proof (48% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Talisker 8, Ardbeg Wee Beastie


Lagavulin 8 is not the best whisky for beginners as it’s going to hit you hard with smoke, peat and meaty notes.

The nose is high on smoke, with a hint that reminds of popcorn, roasted nuts, oak and burnt sugar.

The palate offers a nice creamy feel making it chewy.

Flavor is strong on the smoke, but once you get through that initial layer of smoke there is rich caramel sweetness, along a note that brings herrings.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, bringing more smoke, along cigar ash, along apple and almond.

Is it good?

This malt is incredibly well balanced. Strong smoky notes but enough caramel to make it sweet and supremely rewarding.

This is a rich, complex and flavorful whisky that displays some of the mineral notes characteristic of Islay whiskies, along sweetness behind a thick layer of smoke.

Drink it neat and if you find it too smoky tune it down with a splash of water, just a few drops are enough to tame this whisky … a bit.

Lagavulin 8 was introduced in 2016 to celebrate the distillery’s 200th anniversary, success was such that it became a regular in the Lagavulin lineup.

Definitely not the easiest whisky as it demands a persistent drinker to go through a brick of smoke.

Lagavulin 8 facts:

  • Aged for 8 years in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • Double gold medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Double gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Laphroaig 10 vs Lagavulin 8: Which is more smoky?

Lagavulin 8 has a bit more smoke than Laphroaig 10

Both are high on smoke but the Lagavulin 8 is moderately less smoky as it’s a younger spirit. Aging diminishes smoky notes.

Laphroaig 10 vs Lagavulin 8: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Laphroaig 10$40
Lagavulin 8$65

Laphroaig 10 vs Lagavulin 8: Which is better?

Lagavulin 8 is a bit more complex than the Laphroaig 10

WhiskeyLaphroaig 10Lagavulin 8
  • Hard choice between two peaty-monsters but I´d rather take the Lagavulin 8 over the Laphroaig.
  • The Lagavulin 8 is a notch higher in smoke but keeps a nice balance between smoke and sweetness making it quite enjoyable.
  • Neither one nor the other are easy drinkers and are not suitable for newbies. If you are yet to try this type pf whisky I suggest you try something like the Bowmore which is way easier than the aforementioned.

Laphroaig 10 vs Lagavulin 8: Similarities

  • These whiskies are produced in the Scottish island of Islay (pronounced “ai-luh”) along other famous distillers such as Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Kilchoman.
  • Laphroaig and Lagavulin are single malt whiskies, that is, spirits made exclusively from malted barley at a single distillery and aged for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Both whiskies offer strong smoky notes from the peats used to dry the malted barley.
  • Laphroaig has been in business since 1815 and Lagavulin since 1816.

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