I had been eyeing this for a while and decided to pull the trigger a few months back. Air has been beneficial for this whisky. I also tried this with a few drops of water and it really changes the character of this whisky and is one worth trying with some water. I didn't add water in this review as I slightly prefer it neat, but that is usually the case with me. Be ready for me to sing this whisky's praises, it's a damn fine dram.
Laphroaig 10CS batch 009 58.1%abv Sample is neat in a glencairn.
Nose: The smell of this whisky fills the room as soon as a glass is pourn. Charred beef brisket. Burning campfire, yes, sizzling bacon cooked over a wood fire. The bacon is glazed in a maple sauce. Meat. Fire. Smoke. Whisky. What else does one need? There is sweet intermingled in with the smoke and flames. Toffee, smoked fudge even, if thats a thing. Honey maple glaze. Heavenly.
Palate: There are many things going on here. My first thoughts are 'savoury and powerful.' Indeed, salted meats, BBQ, charred brisket, ash, fire. Similar to the standard 10 but amplified tenfold. I find myself grilling meat around an open campfire, in a kilt, preparing for the next day's hunt or skirmish between a rival clan that we will vanquish. A sweeter note appears, honey and vanilla, helping subdue and discipline the killer instincts of the flames and bring things back down to a manageable rage. Intense.
Finish: The battle is ending. Smoke wafting away, sweeter and saltier maritime notes appear. Smoked fish with a lemon-pepper seasoning. Some vanilla, honey and fruit even. We are celebrating our victory.
As we march our victorious selves away, we must pay our respects to the king.
The King of Islay!
Yes, I love Ardbeg, specifically the Oogie, which was my favorite Islay before. But this is the best Islay whisky I have had to date. Easily.