Laphroaig is one of the oldest distilleries on Islay, if not the oldest, and since I am a dedicated Islay lover I had really high hopes for this one.
Just before I poured my first glass I noticed it said “the most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies” on the bottle. This is really putting the bar high I thought. I guess it all comes down to how you define “richly flavoured”. It certainly has a distinct taste if that’s what it means. Anyways I love this dram. It starts off with notes of citrus and spring grass along with caramel that quickly turns into something reminiscent of freshly paved tarmac and burning tires. All along the caramel notes linger in the background and perfectly balances the peat and smoke. The finish is soft, light and rather short but still enjoyable. There are no excessive alcohol flavours in this ten year old bottling and it is one of the most approachable Islay whiskies I’ve tasted. Highly recommendable.
VERDICT: I really like the way it enters all sweet and caramel like before it hits you from behind with tarmac and burned rubber. There is good complexity, softness, and sweetness in this very accomplished Islay single malt.
I tried this after the Laph QC and it left me a bit disappointed. I felt the overtone of bitter medicinal overwhelmed the sweeter, softer, more delicate notes. Perhaps I didn’t let it open up long enough after pouring it. I’ll have to look for the citrus and grass notes next time. Sounds like that would change the game a bit.
Yeah I know what you are saying. The sweet and fruity notes only play a minor role in this dram and are quickly overrun by the more heavy flavors. I still like it though but the QC will always be my first pick.