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Laphroaig distillery (the name means "the beautiful hollow by the broad bay") was established in 1815, by Alex and Donald Johnston. It was sold to Long John International in the 1960ies and subsequently became part of Allied Domecq. Today the distillery is owned by the American spirits company Beam Inc. The 10yo is Laphroaig’s standard bottling; in 2005 the ABV was reduced from 43% to 40%.
The nose hits you right at the beginning with a distinct phenolic quality – there is no doubt that we have a Laphroaig in front of us. Over time there develops an underlying sweet fruitiness reminiscent of oranges and lemons. The smoke is there, too, but remains very, very faint. Clearly the iodine is the main actor but it is nicely balanced together with the sweet and fruity notes.
The palate is medium-bodied and becomes peppery after a while. I detected hints of vanilla and caramel, together with brine and seaweed. The smoke is more pronounced now but not as distinct as I expected it to be.
The finish is quite short and dry. Smoke and brine manage a decent bouquet at the end but all in all the ending is a bit underwhelming.
I liked the nose of this one a lot: it is just as phenolic and sweet as we would expect a Laphroaig to be. The smoke was barely detectable in the beginning but developed beautifully on the palate. The disappointing part, however, was the short and lackluster finish. This is a good and decent single malt but clearly not as interesting as the Quarter Cask.