Got an awesome whisky today, Laphroaig Cask Strength. Everyone raves about it, quite rightly. I’ve never been able to get hold of it because they only bring out new batches every so often and they sell out pretty quick.
But last year I lucked out and happened to be looking for something to buy when this came out.
Let’s compare to another young Laph for a laugh! (see what I did there? I’ll show myself out…)
Williamson 6 TBWC 50.2%
Nose: Very Laphroaig, hugely mineral, flinty, gravely, granite, toffee popcorn sweetness poking through, malty, lots and lots of peat smoke, but little medicinal notes. A little meaty after a minute, like smoked pork. Really complex for 6yo.
Taste: Sweet toffee, some caramel chews, salted popcorn, then the smoke with lots of malty smoke, more mineral notes develop with lots of gritty granite, peat kiln, a bit of spiciness coming through and a little vanilla right at the end.
Finish: Long length. Back to sweetness with toffee popcorn, a little harsh ginger just gives the age away a bit and sea salt.
Yes yes yes, officially this is a mystery malt but they’re pretty open about this being Laphroaig. Love the age statement.
Lovely, would have guessed 11-15 year old from the smell. If Laphroaig can produce this good whisky at 6, why do we have crap NAS's all over the place? Seriously, get your shit together Laphroaig.
Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength (Batch 8) 59.2%
Nose: LAPHROAIG! Oh yes, classic. Ticks all the boxes. Iodine (much more than any other Laphroaig I've had before), sea salt, brine, TCP, sticking plasters, bandages, big mineral notes, wet rocks, flint, road tar. Really brings back memories- The Laphroaig malting floors, the kiln, the peating room, the warehouses. There's a faint fruitiness behind it all with some vanilla and salted caramel. Black liquorice comes out after a minute.
Water: All of the above, but working in more harmony maybe? Also a little less smoke and more of the salted caramel underbelly, vanilla and some honeycomb. More liquorice too.
Taste: Beautifully gradual and pretty seamless. Builds, starting with soft caramel and salted toffee then big smoky and mineral notes keep developing, loads of iodine, TCP, bandages, sea soaked rocks, some spice develops too with black and white pepper, ginger too, some lemon juice, a little orange. Complex with an incredible mouthfeel, so oily and viscous.
Water: A little less peat smoke, more fruity to start then more medicinal (if that's possible), more salted caramel, more orange, more lemon, a black liquorice note. Something rubbery into the finish, tyre rubber.
Finish: Long length. Orange oil and peaty malt stays and stays. Oiliness really coats the mouth. Lovely.
WOW, Laphroaig with a capital L. This is the cheapest malt I’ve given this high a mark to by a long way, an amazing bargain.
Thanks for reading!
Whisky Reviews #346-#347
Network Average: 74.6
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, I have never accepted free samples from anyone in the whisky industry, but have bought bottles or samples with my money, bringing a different set of biases. Also, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.