I'm not sure why Lagavulin would be held in such high regard. It's a good dram, but not anything magnificent. Maybe the extra couple years and the extra $25 make it seem more exclusive?
He likes the heavily peated malts, so just stick with that.
Instead of buying one expensive bottle, get him a few modest priced ones instead.
Lagavulin, Bowmore, Bruichladdich Octomore, Ardmore, Big Peat, something from one of the independent bottlers, etc. Expand his palate with a few other peat monsters. Any quality liquor store can help you identify the peated malts.
One other point to remember is that intensity of the peat decreases with age. If he likes a big peaty blast of a 10 year old, he might not like an 18 yr old version. One last point, if it's the heavy iodine and medicinal quality he likes, nothing comes within miles of Laphroaig. It's flavor is pretty unique.
One recommendation- Laphroaig 10 cask strength.
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