Tickets to The Laphroaig Vault are complimentary but will be hard to come by.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated September 25, 2019

Once seen as the stuffy tipple of monocled aristocrats, Scotch has ridden the wave of the whiskey boom to its current status as the spirit's trendy elder statesman. One small problem, however: Scotch whisky's elite reputation isn't fiction. Wealthy collectors have driven up the price of the most coveted bottles to the point where even getting a sip of these renowned Scotches can be cost-prohibitive. After two centuries of making whisky, Laphroaig understands this conundrum, so the brand is offering its American fans an opportunity to taste some of its best releases: The Laphroaig Vault.

Laphroaig will be bringing this "vault"—billed as "an exclusive journey through our most premium, rarest and newest expressions"—to three U.S. cities for one-night only each: Seattle, Washington on Monday, October 7; Austin, Texas on Monday October 28; and New York City, New York on Wednesday, November 6. Each event is completely free, but reservations are a must, and they will likely be extremely hard to come by. Each experience will host fewer than 50 reservations for parties up to two, the brand states, and all reservations will be first come, first serve.

Courtesy of Laphroaig

The Seattle reservations open up today (September 25) at 12 p.m. PT. The Austin reservations will open on October 15 at 12 p.m. CT. Finally, the New York reservations will open on October 23 at 12 p.m. ET. Laphroaig says that those who fail to score a spot will be able to sign up for a waitlist in case any cancellations occur. When reservations do open, you can attempt to nab one at

Meanwhile, if The Laphroaig Vault isn't coming to one of your cities, the Scotch brand is also giving whisky drinkers a chance to actually go to the Laphroaig distillery with a newly-announced sweepstakes—though winning will make scoring a reservation to one of the Vault events feel like a breeze. Until November 11, Laphroaig fans can enter to win this all-expenses-paid trip for two to Islay—which includes "VIP distillery experiences"—by tweeting @Laphroaig with a photo of your favorite place to enjoy Laphroaig Scotch along with the hashtag #LaphroaigVault. A single winner will be selected after the sweepstakes ends.

But just because getting reservations to one of these Vault events isn't easy doesn't mean it's not worth it. One of the perks of this job is that I am occasionally invited to Scotch tastings, and getting to try rare releases side by side is an incredible experience. The differences between batches are remarkable—and understanding that firsthand is the kind of thing that would cost you a literal fortune to recreate at home. So yes, getting a spot at The Laphroaig Vault might be tough, but in the end, it's nowhere near as tough as having so much money that you feel comfortable throwing down thousands of dollars on a few sips of Scotch.