Sunday, 28 July 2013

Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Spirit Name:
Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Islay, Scotland
Medium, with a weak finish
Best served:
A tide of peat and sea spray smashes against the palate as the distillate and cask influence act as a counterbalance that tames the fire; leaving shimmers of Islay and a medicinal finish that radiates off the tongue. 

Tasting notes:
I was initially unimpressed with a sample of Laphroaig 10 Year Old, but this blog always makes an effort to taste and continuously re-taste whisky from different batches. In my most recent blind tasting, I blind tasted the Laphroaig 10 Year Old alongside the Ardbeg 10 Year Old. 

Nose: Peat laden sea water sprays against dried seaweed and anise seed. There is a licorice style sweetness in this whisky, which resembles black and red jelly beans. The sweetness seems to outweigh the peat and smoke, as notes of dry sand and lemon cough drops develop.

Taste: A gentle foray of peat and syrupy sweetness is, on swallowing, interrupted by a sudden sting alcohol and dry peat that warms the palate with sparks of burning embers and dry grass. There is an earthiness to this whisky that accompanies the peat, but it does not seem to bear any strong beach-like characteristics though a medicinal theme develops towards the end. 

Finish: The finish seems to fizzle on the end, with a huff and buff of bitter vegetal peat and a spurting spray of salt with its last breath. It then keels over and dies an early death, signaling a disappointing ending to what is otherwise a good whisky experience. The 40% ABV in this whisky leaves little doubt in my mind what is the culprit of this whisky’s lack of spirit! The finish in this whisky is “short and forgettable”, basically the opposite of Laphroaig’s tasting notes which are a very promising “long and unforgettable”… yes, even if you do say so yourself!

Beautifully balanced whisky
Hardly the stuff of Islay legend, with an almost diluted thinness and lack of fire that I think is the result of its 40% ABV. This whisky gives a cough of peat and a splurt of sea spray just before its early finish; a finish which is followed by an uneventful experience lacking in bravado and clout.  
$84 (Aus), ₤32.95 (UK), $43 (US)

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