Leonard Cohen On Drinking Scotch

At this point in the show I would have a cigarette here and drink some obscure scotch like Lagavulin…
– Leonard Cohen at the Dec 5, 2012 Toronto Concert1

Leonard Cohen has been telling his 2012 concert audiences about his intent to start smoking again when he reaches 80. At the Dec 5, 2012 Toronto concert, however, he upped the ante, adding the tippling of scotch to his anticipated 2014 onstage routine.

Consequently, to keep Cohen fans au courant with the Canadian singer-songwriter’s preferences and plans, Cohencentric offers this introduction to …

Lagavulin Scotch

Lagavulin, according to Wikipedia, “is an Islay single malt Scotch whiskey produced at Lagavulin on the island of Islay, United Kingdom. The whiskey has a powerful, peat-smoke aroma, and is described as being robustly full-bodied, well balanced, and smooth, with a slight sweetness on the palate. The standard Lagavulin single malt is 16 years old (43%), though they regularly release a 12-year-old cask strength variety, a Distiller’s edition finished in Pedro Ximénez casks, and 25- and 30-year-old varieties.”

The lowest cost found in an online search this morning [at time of original posting: Dec 7, 2012] for the standard 750 ml bottle of Lagavulin Scotch 16 Year Single Malt was $59 (without shipping costs).

It should be noted that in the past, Leonard Cohen has also indicated, in addition to a taste for scotch, a predilection for cognac2 and Chateau La Tour 1982.3 He also concocted an alcoholic potable named Red Needles, consisting of “tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit.”4

Update: I can affirm that Leonard indeed partook of Lagavulin at least once in 2014. See Lunch At Leonard’s In LA – Leonard Cohen & Kezban Özcan Host Nosh For Duchess & DrHGuy

Note: Originally posted Dec 7, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Quoted in Point of View: Be Leonard Cohen by Samantha Swan (Ardent Pictures: Dec 6, 2012) []
  2. I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors by Nick Paton Walsh. The Observer, Sunday 14 October 2001 []
  3. The Q Magazine Questionnaire in Q Magazine, September 1994 []
  4. Readers who have not previously tried this cocktail are strongly advised to test a few sips before committing to its consumption in quantity []

3 Replies to “Leonard Cohen On Drinking Scotch”

  1. Martha

    My husband will love to hear that, because Lagavulin is One of his favourite whiskeys. I like it, too. 🙂

  2. Barry Comer

    I dedicate my healthier habits to Mr. Cohen.

    1. Evaluation of my excessive smoking
    2. Only drinking one beer each day
    3. Crafting a poem or words once a day
    4. Not feeling embarrassed that I am Jewish
    5. Remembering that love is all that matters.


  3. Hadar Merhav

    smoking is the worse habit known to man and after mosquitos the greatest murderer of them all. Having said that, I do sometimes miss smoking so badly. Smoking parleys a comfort and an essence that cannot be rivaled by any, and I mean any drug. If I was able to smoke two cigarettes a day or for that matter drink just one beer then my life would be heaven.
    Leonard Cohen deserved the Nobel prize ten times over Bob Dylan (whom I admire too). Cohen was a consummate poet and a gifted under appreciated musician but also a cultural connoisseur, a man’s man and obviously the kind of lover we would all want to be; The kind that women remember and cherish the memory.
    Your songs carried me through life. If there is any religion in me (and there ain’t much) it is because of you. You were wise,. You were beautiful. You were a Mentsch.