By Father John Rayls
The original Laphroaig Distillery got its start in 1815 because Donald and Alexander Johnston had excess barley on their hands, beyond what they needed as cattle feed. They found their property strategically located next to the Kilbride Stream, where the waters were soft, amazingly peaty and free of most minerals. That water source became the foundation for a truly memorable whisky.
My bottle of 10 Year Old was bottled in January 2015 at 112.6 proof at comes from batch 007.
The Laphroaig 10 Year Cask Strength is a little darker in the glass than the regular 10 year. It still holds a golden color, but a darker one. The liquid’s long legs give the appearance of a slightly creamier whisky, a very inviting appearance that begs the consumer to dive right in.
The nose is more subtle than I would expect, but does have something of a medicinal aroma. However, it’s not overpowering. There is a light cereal nose on top of light vanilla oak, and a surprising lack of alcohol burn on the nose for something so strong.
The first experience in the mouth is of a very light pleasant sweetness, softness and creaminess. The mouth is coated with a wonderful texture as the activity first hits the top back of the mouth before migrating quickly to mid-tongue. At this point, it just sits down and makes itself at home. Apparently, it has no desire to go anywhere else, delivering a well-balanced exposure of peat couched in a sweet vanilla base. This is a “full and strong” bodied whisky. However, it is balanced and very enjoyable.
Although Laphroaig recommends adding water in a 2 to 1 ratio to whisky, I prefer it neat. It isn’t overpowering, but leaves plenty of room for adding water if that’s your preference. It’s a long and satisfying finish that is lightly sweet and creamy. What is more, I must admit it’s difficult to slow the experience down to enjoy all aspects of this whisky!
This is a very enjoyable scotch that will serve as one of my “go to” whiskies in the future. You can find it priced all over the map from $59.99 to $99.99, depending on availability and demand. Take your time finding a good price. It’s really worth the effort.