Laphroaig

Tasting Notes: Laphroaig – 10 Years Old

Laphroaig

Laphroaig

Laphroaig (“La-froyg”) is a distillery that bookends the 3 big peaty players on the south-east coast of Islay and is renowned worldwide for its peaty and malty taste that is best demonstrated by its flagship 10 year old expression. The first thing that is striking, before you even get to the liquid itself, is the rather alien looking word and it’s distinctive black and white label on a green bottle. It instantly displays elegance and class and has a mysterious, cult like feel. And why is that? Because when you open it: BOOM!!! The stuff is liquid dynamite. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s unique and it can only be called Laphroaig.

ABV: 40%

 

Nose

M: Little burn, rounded peat smell with sea air and malt.

S: Can you get an island in a nose? You sure can when it’s Laphroaig! Pure Islay, smooth balance between peat, smoke and salt.

T: Not many whiskies are so evocative on the nose, L10 is just everything Islay! Smoky, strong, fresh, heathers, salty with hints of licorice.

 

Taste

M: Full flavoured, vanilla, oak, digestive biscuit, slight sea salt, then pow! The peat gets you. It delivers the peat smoke and the charred ex-bourbon barrel.

S: The sweet and peaty flavours are perfectly balanced. There is a softness that belies that overall punch.

T: Boom….followed by another boom! Flavours fired at you at a million miles an hour and all of them great! Very rounded and smooth with rough edge. Smoky peat hits, woods and biscuity…oh and the charred remains of burnt biscuits from the oven too.

 

Finish

M: Smooth, lingering and smoky to the max.

S: The sweet and peaty flavours are perfectly balanced. There is a softness that belies that overall punch.

T: After the initial burn a smooth sweet, peaty and smoky flavour hangs and intensifies and changes. You can feel the flavours dancing around your mouth for an age!

 

Verdict

M: For me, this is THE entry-level Islay whisky. Full of flavour, texture and peat. A treat from start to finish. You’ll never forget it and you’ll always come back.

S: Islay engineering at its best for an entry-level whisky.

T: A whisky collection isn’t a whisky collection without L10! Oh but Laphroaig please cut the “Mit Karamel” crap!!! 

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Tasting Notes: Laphroaig – Quarter Cask

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Laphroaig – Quarter Cask

One of Laphroaig’s no-age-statement expressions, the Quarter Cask has been matured in traditional ’quarter cask’ barrels, i.e. barrels that hold a quarter the volume of liquid of the usual cask, and so the liquid has more exposure to the surface area of the wood and so the whisky can ‘mature’ quicker than in the normal, larger casks. This may sound like a cheat’s way of doing things but after 7 or so years, the results are spectacular…

ABV: 48%

 

Nose

M: Instant smoke, peat and malt

S: A sweet smokey hit

T: Where’s the fire? In my nose… and I like it! Sweet, peaty, wood embers on the camp fire.

 

Taste

M: Big peaty hit with a digestive biscuit base and a distinct Kidalton coastline aftertaste.

S: It’s like the 10 but more…intense. A salty Islay spray blends with the peat.

T: Islay (Pronouced ‘Is lay’…ha ha) in a nut shell. The taste I associate with this blessed island. It’s an intensified 10 but more rounded, the flavours keep coming and coming, warm and tasty.

 

Finish

M: Long, smooth and smoky

S: Perhaps unexpectedly deep for a no-age-statement…the smoke rises gloriously back into your mouth.

T: As with the taste, this is the whisky that just keeps giving… a long flavoursome smokefest. I think everyone would find something different here, but something worth finding.

 

Verdict

M: An absolute belter. I always make sure that there’s a bottle of this in the cabinet! Oh, and who needs “age statements”? If it’s quality you’re after, this is it. Fresh, sweet, malty, smoky and smooth as. 9.0

S: It’s young but is an absolute knock-out! A Laphroaig wild stallion that has been tamed–best consumed on a deep winter night in front of an open fire! 8.7

T: It’s fair to say the WhiskyUnplugged boys loved this number from first sip! Just buy it – you’ll struggle to find better for the price. Just be careful if you live next to a fire station as its pungent smokeyness could induce unwanted attention from the firefighters! (Oh and well done Laphroaig for not going down the “Mit Karamel” route a la the 10 year) 8.9

 

Top tip:  After finishing your quarter cask dram, leave your empty glass overnight. Give it a deep sniff the next day…it’s like a vanilla bean explosion, heavenly sweet that even your non-whisky drinking dependants will appreciate!

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