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This is it. The distillery / expression that you've heard all about. One you may have feared or couldn't wait to try. Laphroaig 10 is for the SMSW "graduates", "peat heads", "explorers" and for the curious. It ain't for the the casual, uninitiated "Chardonnay sipping" foo foo crowd.
When you get to this spectrum of the Scotch flavor profile experience, you need to know what you are getting into. You need to strap it on, be prepared to face the music, get in the trenches, wear your hard hat, bring your lunch box and "cowboy up". This is a wonderful whisky with attitude for those with an attitude.
Taste reviewed neat in a 12 oz. snifter, hand warmed and nursed for approx. 25 minutes.
Nose: Briny, rich velvety wafting peat, alcohol based medicine, hints of vanilla with Bourbon, leather tobacco pouch, a lot going on.
Palate: A pleasant oil slick of iodine, ocean brine, sweet peat, bitters, flash of black licorice.
Finish: Tailing off medicinal burn followed by a burnt salty marshmallow sweetness mixed with campfire ashes, hint of citrus membrane, loooong all evening whisky breath for peat lovers with lingering evidence left behind for further investigation.
Balance: Peat, sweet, medicine and brine are the harmonious theme from first sniff to last sip with ongoing remembrance when your head hits the pillow and maybe even upon waking in the morning.
Ironically, this was the 4th bottle of SMSW I put in my cabinet. Acquired maybe earlier in the whisky journey than some would consider doing, I felt I was ready for it and I happily discovered that I was. Maybe my love of stout beer unknowingly prepared me?