If their is ever a marmite whisky then it is the Laphroaig 10 Year Old. It is either loved or loathed and they recognise this and use it to their advantage in the way that they market themselves. This 10 year old is their main entry level bottle in their core range which is comprised of numerous non age statement. There is a 15 and 18 year old which jump considerably in price. As you would expect from an Islay distillery, this is peated. Interestingly, Laphroaig state that they mature their whiskies in ex bourbon casks from Maker’s Mark, which is nice to know and also they claim that because they store their barrels near the coast their whiskies take on coastal notes. Sounds good to me.
Whisky: Laphroaig 10 Year Old Single Malt, 40%
Nose: Ash, peat, leather, zest, TCP, salt, oak
Taste: Citrus tang, green apples, brine, TCP, oak, ash
Finish: Ash, oak, dark chocolate
Summary: As expected, this was intense. The ashy peat and medicinal notes were present throughout with some citrus led flavours trying to get a peek. In general I enjoy peated whiskies but only in small quantities and when I am in the mood. I had to add a couple of drops of water to this to drop the intensity levels down a notch. It is interesting to see that the Maker’s Mark casks imparted citrus notes (I assume) and none of the typical notes such as vanilla and/or butterscotch came through. Come to think of it, there are many whiskies out there that have been matured in ex bourbon casks that carry citrus notes, yet I do not get this note in bourbon. Maybe this is more malt than cask led which does make me wonder which of the flavours the cask is bringing here. I would associate the leather and dark chocolate notes to casks. Overall, I would say this is a solid Islay malt which I neither love nor hate.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com