The Laphroaig 10 is somewhat of a benchmark whisky. It has been around in one form or another since at least the early 1960’s and the basic recipe has been the same, but there have been some pretty big ‘generational’ differences. Basically, every now and so often they crank up the phenolic notes in the distilate, making it more medicinal and pungent. It becomes more spirit forward that way, and maybe this is to compensate for uninteresting casks.
For me, the best Laphroaig 10’s are the ones in between generations, and this is such a whisky. This is a great example of an early ‘contemporary’ Laphroaig. The perfect blend of superb older whisky from quality casks and great younger whisky from a characterfull distillate.
Although this is not a really old bottling, it’s clearly WAY more outspoken and less chisseled than contemporary bottlings. This thing has an opinion. Smoke is the main theme here, not iodine.
Smells like the day after a BBQ party that got way out of hand. Wet ashes, cigarettes at the bottom of a beercan, soot, smoke, peat. But all in a good way. After that initial onslaught it’s time to compensate for the hangover with a healthy dose of fresh fruit and some malty cereals and some lemon for the vitamin C.
Tastewise: surprisingly beefy, fruity and rich. Also some top esters that don’t make it past the smoke on the nose; some banana, eucalyptus. There’s a very nice malty sweetness to it that works surprigingly well with the fruit and the smoke. Finish: medium long, very nice, finish.