Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength

I need to start this review with a bit of a warning. I am going to give this whisky a very good review, however, I do not think this is a whisky for people who are new to Scotch. If you are new to Scotch, and try this one first, it could completely turn you off of Scotch. Also, for the people who are familiar with Scotch, but have never tried an Islay, I do not recommend this one as the first one you ever try. In my opinion, this is one of the more challenging whiskies. Worthwhile activities are typically challenging, right?

One of the things I like most about Laphroaig, is their Friends of Laphroaig program. On joining, you are given a lifetime lease of one square foot of Islay. Upon visiting the distillery, you are able to collect rent of one dram of Laphroaig per year, and you are even able to visit and flag your plot. To join, you must redeem a code which is included with every bottle. Also, after you have joined Friends of Laphroaig, you can redeem the future codes for merchandise such as key chains, hats, tumblers, etc from their store. I think this program is quite generous of the distillery, and is really engaging for the consumer.

Ok, on to the review. This review is of the cask strength version of the 10 year old whisky. Anytime I have the option of purchasing a cask strength version, and it is not at too much of a premium considering alcohol content, I will choose the cask strength variation. This way, I have the freedom to drink at full strength, or add water - and how much. This particular review is of the first release, 001, after they began counting in 09. Batch 003, should be out soon. While there will be differences in batches, they should be slight at most.

Nose: Smoke, peat, pine, smoked meat, earthy, with honey, citrus and fresh greens in the background

Palate: Earthy, peaty

Finish: Incredibly long - Peat, medicinal, rubber

Overall, this is a very, very good Islay whisky. I highly recommend it to people who like Islay whiskies, but have never tried this one. This would not be the one I would recommend to people who have never had an Islay whiskies, and certainly not to someone who has never tried Scotch. With all that said, this is, in my opinion, one of the best Islay whiskies available.

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