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Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Average score from 74 reviews and 377 ratings 85

Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Laphroaig
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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@Nozinan
Laphroaig 10 Year Old

It’s getting close to Passover, which means that soon I will have no access to my cabinet for 8 days, and there will be precious few chances to dram before the cabinet is sealed. It’s been a month since my last review. Time to get working.

Before this week I don’t think I had ever tasted Laphroaig 10, and the only low proof expression from this distillery I’d had was a generous portion of the 15 YO I tasted outside Roy Thompson Hall at SOT (Thanks Marcio – wait, thanks to the person who befriended Marcio). I’m used to high powered expressions like Cairdeas, 10 YO CS and QC.

Thanks to @OdysseusUnbound, I can now say I’ve tried the standard 10 at 43%. I sipped a few CCs of it a few nights ago and found it interesting, but I was trying to enjoy it, not dissect it.

This bottle was opened in December 2016. I received a sample in November 2017. This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. For fun, I poured a little of the CS (batch 5 – 57.2%) to see how it stands up.

I am a little stuffed up tonight so this may affect my notes. Read at your own risk.


Nose: 22/25

Neat, it starts out quiet. I get some citrus rind and ash, and a little iodine. I could use a little more power but what’s there is very nice. A little less smoky with a little water. (21.5)

In contrast, the CS smells a little drier and I get a little less citrus. With water the nose is much stronger than its 43% cousin.

Taste:21.5/25

Immediately my mouth feels like it licked a stale ash tray. For some reason many of us would say that’s a good thing! It’s dry, peppery, with a hint of citrus in the background. I get a tiny hint of eucalyptus, like in a cough drop. Creamier on the entry with water, and spicier (pepper mostly) on the development. A little more minty. (21/25)

The CS is like a cannon next to a musket. Enough said.

Finish: 21.5/25

Quite long. Mostly pepper and ash. No real change with water.

Balance:21.5/25

The nose is slightly underpowered and the palate is a little less complex than the nose. Water washes out the taste a little.(21/25)

Score: Neat - 86.5 /100 With Water: 85/100


I suppose that some would say it’s not fair to compare it to the cask strength. It probably isn’t, but the above notes are an assessment of it alone, following which I placed it H2H with its big brother. The CS simply has more power and more body. I would probably accept a dram if offered, but in my own cabinet I don’t think a bottle would see too much use.

I finished by putting about half of the CS in with what was left of this one (1:2). It certainly bumps up the body (score around 87-88), but I still prefer the CS on its own.

Not a bad dram. Looks like I’ll be enjoying the next couple of hours…

Very well-articulated review. The Cask Strength version definitely makes it harder to sip at 43%. I think even a modest bump up to 46% would benefit this whisky tremendously. Your notes, while not identical to mine, are pretty spot on. I got this whisky after it had been opened about 8 months. No gas was used, and I’m unsure about the storage conditions. I’ve got an unopened bottle at home, so it will be interesting to see how it compares.

Just put the last few CCs of my sample from @OdysseusUnbound H2H with Laphroaig QC. This bottle had about 150 cc out of 1 L left (now it's decanted), was opened Dec. 31 2014 and has always been gassed after use.

I think I would give the QC an edge over the 10. It's a little richer, likely because it's les diluted. Very similar profile, but I get more milk chocolate in the QC (not more, some, as I got none in the 10). Mixed together, they remain a single malt, but slightly greater than the sum of their parts.

@casualtorture

I was in the mood for some peat the other week and picked this up. I've had the quarter cask and the select cask, this is my first bottle of 10yo.

This is bottled at 43%, I understand that in some less fortunate parts of the world it is bottled at 40%.

Nose: Wow. It's like a charcoal briquet drizzled in rose oil. There is a sweet side to the smoke. York peppermint pattie, rose petal, grilled tilapia.

Palate: Up front there is a lovely puff of peaty smoke, followed by a flow of BBQ sauce. You've all heard this before I'm sure, but it really is like having a BBQ in your mouth.

Finish: The fire dwindles down and your left with a surprisingly sweet finish. Some BBQ remains but it's actually sweeter than smokey. Rose oil again, peppermint, and vanilla wrapped in a shroud of smoke.

Overall: Sweeter than expected, but still with plenty of BBQ. I'm officially on the lookout for the cask strength version.

GMT = Glorious Malt Time

@casualtorture - Nice review! I find that once you get past the peat smoke there is a lot of sweetness.. We get this at 40% (UK). It used to be regularly on offer at £25 which for a CF, low abv and coloured whisky feels about right. Don't think I'd pay full whack for this (c£35) given what else is available.

It is one that holds up at that abv though.

@OdysseusUnbound

This is an abbreviated version of an entry I'll be posting on my blog tomorrow

I've long been a fan of Laphroaig, yet I often take it for granted. In a bid to try every whisky under the sun, I sometimes forget to go back to what I know and love. I was fortunate that a very good friend of mine gifted me this bottle of Laphroaig 10 which he "tried to love, but just couldn't". He got it at Christmas 2016. I got it in August of this year. The bottle was more than 3/4 full when I got it.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted) : smoke, mineral peat, earthy sweetness, very medicinal (iodine) with light citrus and floral notes underneath
  • Palate (undiluted): rich and full bodied, oily and mouth-coating, sweet and briny arrival developing some slight bitterness before returning to a briny and earthy sweetness with hints of vanilla and pear (really!)
  • Finish: long, campfire ash and smoke, with some sweet floral earthiness lingering

Adding water to Laphroaig 10 really pains me. It's just so perfect when sipped neat, that adding water seems criminal. Maybe not criminal, but uncivil. But I added water, you know, just to be thorough. With water, the nose shows much more fresh seaweed/iodine and vanilla. The smoke is pushed into the background. The palate becomes much more medicinal, developing some toffee, black coffee before finishing with sweet vanilla and cigar ash. With or without water, this is an absolute treat.

I should note that the version of Laphroaig 10 in my cabinet is bottled at 43% ABV. Some expressions of this malt are bottled at 40% for some cruel yet unknown reason. I guess we're fortunate here in Ontario...despite paying much, much more for our whisky than other jurisdictions.

I really should keep a bottle of this on hand at all times.

@Nozinan Soon. My brother's having me over in September. We'll work it out for sure.

The quality difference between the 10 and the 10 CS is so large, and the price difference is so small (in the US), that there's just no reason to even buy the standard 10 for home consumption. I only ever get it at bars.

@markjedi1

The Laffie 10 is such a classic that I do not have to make any kind of introduction, right? This one was bottled in 2013. It should be present in every cabinet, actually.

Suprisingly sweet nose on melon and apples, joined by a light smokiness that is less medicinal than I expected (in comparison with previous batches). Very herbal and soft on the spices. Brings rocky moss to mind. But the typical maritime elements are absent, much to my surprise.

It is soft and sweet, but immediately very sooty (nice!). Lovely touches of peat that remind me of wet earth, barbecue ashes and seeweads. But it is also very herbal on the palate. All kinds of garden herbs pass by the tastebuds. A small salty edge.

The finish is long and the sweet peat has the final say.

I am somewhat surprised. I remembered the Laffie 10 with much more peat and medicinal touches, but this is almost soft and sweet.

J

This whisky pours a medium gold with campfire smoke on the nose. The flavor is peat forward and with a fresh bottle, medicinal & herbal flavors dance with the smoke to add a complexity unlike anything else. I've noticed as the bottle sits in the cabinet, the greener flavors disappear and this just becomes a smoke bomb. This was my first single malt and I fell in love which makes this a whisky that you either love or hate, no matter what your level of experience may be. I resist giving it a perfect 100 out of inexperience.

Welcome to the site Jordan, brave decision to jump in with Laphroaig 10 as first single malt, took me a while to brave Islay peated style but loved it off the bat.

If you can get your hands on the Quarter Cask it is well worth a try, I find it has a bit more depth and complexity than the 10.

My bottle of Laphroaig 10 has been open 6 months, and after the first month, I noticed that the peat dies down. Now the peat is about 1/5th what it was. It's better to finish this off within the first 2 months. Thing is, you don't feel like having a peaty scotch every day.

@Frost

After my introduction to peated whisky, this was the second Islay I tried. If anything, the 10 year old has been consistent ever since. It's a "I can smell that from over here" whisky in the glass.

Nose: Iodine, peat, brine, sea salt spray in the background

Taste: Iodine, earth, soil, peat, citrus, medicinal, lemon peel, oily

Finish: More peat, unami, iodine, slight smoke on the finish

This expression is a classic and has a permanent fixture in my collection.

If only it was bottled at a higher ABV

@jack09, since you are already a whisky-lover I'd put the odds at about 2 out of 3 that you will in time get to liking the heavily peaated whiskies. It might take some time, though. And even if you do get to liking them, they won't necessarily become your first choice of whisky style. Increased experience in sampling whisk(e)y almost always broadens and expands a person's tastes with respect to whisky. Some tastes are 'acquired'. For most people liking the heavily peated and smokey stuff requires progressive exposure.

I just opened a bottle of this, my first ever heavily peated Islay malt. I've never had a whisky like this before, and frankly found the peat overwhelming, and difficult to get the whisky down my throat. Tell me this gets easier and more likeable on future pours?

M

Nose: extremely peaty and medicinal, smoked ham. Palate: dry, peaty, salty, hints of vanilla. Finish: medium long, dry and smoky. One of the most peaty whiskies. I like its dry peatiness but Laphroaig 10yo lacks power at 40%. Can't compete with other Kildaltons but it's still very good whisky.

@Shane_IL

I was always curious about the following Laphroaig has until I actually got to try some a few years back. I'd never had a really peaty whisky before and it really blew me away.

@Uisgebetha

My first bottle of this was bought in Sorrento, Italy more years ago than I care to remember, and I was reminded of this when back there last May, they still have good liquor outlets and bargains if you care to scour the town. I’m sure this malt has changed in the intervening years, but the quality has never been in doubt. I’ve probably drunk more of this malt than any other over the years, although I would not say it’s my favourite.

A warm amber coloured spirit in the Glen Cairn, the colour is masked in the bottle by the vivid green of the glass which is in marked contrast to the brilliant white tube, a reassuring constant. The aromas are very strong with three main themes to my nose, intense wood smoke, peat present as a musty conditioning element and salty seaweed smell which reminds me of Laverbread, a delicacy of my home town of Swansea made of seaweed.

The flavours do not disappoint either, it might not have as big a phenolic hit as of old, but there is lots of peat to enjoy along with smoke and bags of sweetness from the malt. I also occasionally get a cabbagy note from this malt, but not always. The finish pares the flavours down and makes them stand out more from each other and adds a warm salty hit to the melange.

Still not my favourite malt, but one I will always reach for, not least because it’s such outstanding value for money.

So what is your favorite?

My favorite malt is/was a 14 year old Glen Scotia which has been discontinued since the distillery has reopenned. I still have a bottle.

@szila

Nose: Peat² and smoke², with the infamous biting medicinal note (Nice to meet you!). After writing the notes of this first encounter, It still haunts even from half a meter. The sweet side was most difficult to describe, the thing I got was a weak vanilla, but just a drop of water rewards you with caramelized apples, toffee and just once a slight pineapple note. A sea brine accompanies everything modestly.

Palate: Nice oily mouth feel. Huge peat, and a bit of a trapped sweetness. The salt is quite strong on the palate, just like over salted food.

Finish: Earthy, long and medicinal.

I enjoyed this immensely, but it was the one that was also the most difficult to describe and discern. It really keeps you focused and dazzled at the same time.

@Snarley88

Nose is initially Smokey, fading to a earthy oak with roasted nuts and light salt. Taste is smooth, with an initial medium to high peat that then lingers and intesifies. A fairly simple but easily drinkable Scotch. Finish lingers well with medium to high peat and has a lovely salt at the end. A good Balance to this Scotch nothing surprising but so easy to drink.

B

Laphroaig 10 years old

Distillery/Brand: Laphroaig

Region: Islay

ABV: 40%

This is my first review of a single malt whisky, although I already tried two other malts before I decided to start giving my personal opinion with this special malt, because it has been a great experience, which only who loves this Scotch can understand.

I shall never forget my first sip, I am not an expert of malts, actually I am a beginner but I tried many blended scotch whiskies, some Irish whiskies and few american bourbons.

I never tasted anything like Laphroaig.

It is a famous peaty single malt from Islay, which is an island west of Scotland, actually it is one of the most important areas for whisky lovers, especially for those who loves peaty malts.

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Peaty, Smokey, Medicinal, Woody, Pepper.

You can smell the see breeze in it but also a slight sweetness.

Taste: It is a real blast! You can feel an explosion in your mouth, it is a very strong taste, but not with a predominance of alchool, actually this single malt is very balanced.

At first it is peaty and smokey, then emerge sweetness, saltiness, woodiness and finally a taste of pepper.

But there is much more to say, this malt is like an orchestra playing a masterpiece, with many shades, consonances and dissonances in it, which form a unique harmony.

Finish: There is a persistence of peat and smoke, salt and tobacco,

I suggest you to add a little drop of water to your dram.

Oh yeah, BrugnerBrokk—the CS is kick-ass. If you haven't had it, make a point to find it, given how much you love the 10. It makes the standard 10 seem weak and mild in comparison. (That might not be a 100% good thing, but it's a raging & true endorsement for the CS.)

Secondary benefit of the CS: It has so much peaty power that you can easily liven up anything you have kicking around that doesn't really trip your trigger. A glass of one of your blends with a splash of Laphroaig CS is not too shabby at all.

The 10 006 CS is now out in the US. Might be worth checking out. I just ordered a couple of bottles. I paid $53 a piece for these bottles. I was not crazy about the 005 but I loved the 003. I've heard the 006 is like the 003. We shall see!

c

Peaty whiskies are pretty trendy these days, and many of the top scorers find a way to add sweetness to the taste profile, whether that's the Quarter Cask, Octomore, Ardbeg Uigeadail, and so on. The Laphroaig 10 is classic and uncompromised, and unapologetically Islay.

On the nose, iodine and peat at first. Gradually sweetens with some honey coming out but only to a point. Masters of peaty whisky can no doubt pick more out, but for me the medicinal qualities predominate.

In the mouth, leather and sweat. At 10 years you aren't getting a lot of the cask. A bit of sweetness if you go looking for it but it's not why you're here. Nice, warming alcohol burn.

My personal preferences are a bit towards the Lavagulin, or some of the Ardbeg stunt bottlings, or the quarter cask. But it's good to be familiar with the classic Laffy 10 so that you have a frame of reference for what some of these other bottlings are playing with.

While it's a single-minded taste profile, I score this higher than I would a generic Speysider because I like drinking something that scares people off when they sniff it :).

@Canadianbacon Good review, I also prefer the QC TO THE 10. This last one has more vanilla and I find the QC peat to be more meaty. So if you want a dram that will scare the beginners go for the QC, but if you want to initiate a beginner to the boldness of The young Laphroaigs choose the 10 even if it is still a scary one for the newbie. At the end, both are great values! It is nice of you to think of the beginners. Connosr had play a great role in my whisky education and it should stay a great site for the beginners and the connosrs. So, thank you for your contribution.

I consider myself barely above a beginner, which is probably the reason for my interest in helping others who might be newer to this. Hopefully we'll all get to enlightenment together :).

@SimeonSanchez

The color is medium gold, just about as richly golden as Glenlivet, which surprises me, since my researches told me to expect a light color. The body does not appear to be very substantial in the glass.

The phenolic iodine scent is heavy on the nose, but unlike Ardbeg 10 (the only other Islay I have tasted), there's a hint of lemongrass and other citrus notes in the background, together with plain grass and cellulose.

On the tongue, the same heavy phenolic disinfectant is prominent, and there's a subtle and sweet fruitiness in the background. It also has a distinctly savory character on the tongue, with salt, fish sauce, soy sauce, and a hint of vinegar. After further tasting, I detect a faint soapiness; if it's like soap, then it's one of those bars of odd, rough-cut, phenolic soaps you find in foreign lands.

It turns more sweet with water, and though I'm finding it hard to define the sweetness, it's not plain refined sugar, and certainly not saccharine.

My dad, a former missionary, was at my home tasting it with me and compared it to the smell of a Congolese hospital. So if the run-down, no-electricity, third-world hospital aroma is your thing, Laphroaig is for you. He said the associations were too negative for him. He has a point: I think I even pick up the scent of sterile bandages.

I've heard people call this the mother of all peat bombs, but to me the overall impression is more refined and pleasant than Ardbeg 10.

Dear tjb: I'm glad my comment put a smile on your face, and I thank you for your kind reply to my comments. "Naturally occurring" TSP is present in some Laphroaigs, at least according to Ralfie. Not sure if he's right! The smell is there, at least to my nose. I have used TSP on more than one occasion to clean walls in my home before painting, and I must say that I detect a similarity, in terms of scent, in Laphroaig 10.

At any rate, I was just having a bit of light hearted fun. It's whisky, after all, that we are discussing, not something gravely serious, such as badminton or croquet. This said, I still have yet to see a pic of Charles actually drinking Laphroaig. It would be a jolly good thing to see, don't you agree? No offense is meant in this observation, nor am I insinuating anything at all.

I plan on opening my bottle of Laphroaig 18 quite soon, even though I did just purchase it only today. When I do open the bottle, I shall toast both Charles' and your continued good health.

Yes, quite. Farbeit from me to raise spurious and unfounded conspiracies, such as the alleged "fact" that Winston Churchill is the illegitimate son of Edward the Seventh, that Hitler was a top secret British agent, that the Royal family are a front corporation for the Rothschilds (as well as being related to the Rothschilds), that the Royal Family have covert holdings in corporations engaged in eugenics practices, such as ADM and Monsanto, or that assets from the Crown lands of Scotland should have undergone devolution to Scotland and the Scottish people. Such outlandish theories are no doubt rubbish of the most smelly variety. Anyone who says that the Crown Estate is engaged in corporate subterfuge (like a very complex shell game) in order to hide vast holdings and assets should have his head examined. Such wildly unfounded theories do not even have a right to be printed in the "National Enquirer." Next thing you know, somebody will make some preposterous and utterly fallacious observation that certain key stories are leaked through tabloids such as the Enquirer to create cognitive dissonance in such a way that the general public associates them with tall tales, gossip, and other pop culture falderol, thereby letting the air out of the whoopee cushion, so to speak. I find such conspiracy theories to be not only silly and nonsensical, but also a bit offensive in nature. It's hard to believe that some people actually entertain such theories as being possible, if not probable.

@DMEsquire

This is a very peaty scotch, hitting you with an incredibly smoky flavor. I transferred to a crystal decanter, where it's been for 2-3 weeks, and the taste has smoothed tremendously. I also added a splash of water to open up the palate, and I recommend it.

@AdamJackson

Nose is sharp and floral. Hits the back of the throat with orange zest. This is a very fruit forward scotch. The burn of the abv carries on for a while. Sweetness is hanging out and Mossiness and cedar are sharp but leave quickly

@PMessinger
F

The most flavorful of all Islay Malts I feel. Te layers of flavors are so succinct that you'll find yourself blurting them out as they are readily dancing off your tongue. From salted caramel, to seaweed to burnt wood, bold peatiness... This is a bold one... for sure..

@Nock

This is a bottle I bought and opened in May of 2013. I have scored it now 4 times (87, 86, 87, 88). So my average score for this particular bottle is an 87.

Again, whenever I score I whisky I always taste it up against 3 others for perspective. Some whiskies I find I score higher or lower based on the selection that night. However, Laphroaig always seems to be consistent for me no matter what I am drinking it next to (be it a boring Glen-something-or-other, a young Kilchoman, an old Ardbeg, or a beautiful Brora). In my book that is quite amazing.

Nose: Big earthy peat. Like sticking you head in an earthen peat bog. Lovely. After the earthy peat subsides you get some medicinal notes (antiseptic, gauze, Band-Aids). Now back to lush trees in a damp forest just after the rain, but there is a bonfire burning just over the horizon . . . right by the sea. Dark, green and peaty. This is the least sweet malt in the Laphroaig line . . . and I can get behind that. For once I swear I am getting mango and pineapple? With water more of that sharp mango and pineapple – crazy, this is new smell for me with Laphroaig 10yo . . . (this note only happened on one tasting night).

Taste: Nice peat arrival: peat, earth, and muddy wood. This is definitely not sweet like Ardbeg. This is a dry and borderline bitter malt (but NOT bitter). Feels like I am gargling mossy brackish river water.

Finish: Big peat blast followed by the long slow intake of breath . . . now the shocking attack of sea salt . . . funny still getting mango (every so subtle). The peat is really the star in this malt with the smoke only emerging here near the end. That peat fire rages for an age and a bit. Yup, getting that brief leftover tropical fruit note at the end. Different . . . I even like it.

Balance, Complexity: This is really a wonderful 10yo, and extremely consistent (way more so then Ardbeg 10yo). This guy is never going to achieve the heights that Ardbeg has the potential for, but then it never seems to misstep like the Ardbeg TEN either. It really has these three notes: earthy peat, wood, and medicine. As for balance . . . it is consistent. You would never guess this was older then 10 years . . . sometimes Ardbeg TEN can fool you . . .

Aesthetic experience: I love this bottle’s aesthetic, and will be sad when it changes. It has that old 70’s feel to it. Green bottle, white label . . . not the best looking of the big three, but it does it well (prince Charlie puts it over the top with his warrant). I love having this as my everyday bottle.

Conclusion: This specific bottle was every bit as consistent as the last several have been. The odd mango note only appeared on one occasion. I never found it again. I leave the note in here because I think it goes to show that some nights your mind and nose tune into certain frequencies. Who knows, maybe that subtle fruity mango note is always there in Laphroaig and I am just not tuned in . . . but I doubt it. More likely I think once your mind fixates on a certain smell (like mago, or match sticks, or bananas) it is really hard to get away from that idea – and so you keep smelling and tasting it. This is why I am skeptical of samples. Because occasionally I get fixated on certain smells that might not always show up when I reach for that bottle again.

Laphroaig 10yo conclusion: 3 bottles over 3 years with a total of 13 scores ranging from 82-88. I scored it 86 on seven occasions, 87 on three nights, and an 88, 84 and 82 one time each. That leaves an average score of 85.923 for all three bottles (87 for this particular one) Yes, I think I’ll have another.

@WhiskyBee - thanks for the comments. Would love to hear your comparison notes between the bottles. My guess (and hope) is that there is little change.

@Victor - at times I fear my notes are way too long for any normal human to want to read . . . nice to know a few of you are out there willing to wade through my loquacious musings on the minutia of a dram that is, quite simply, just plain good.

@GotOak91 - I'm am very pleased that my words paint pictures for you (and don't just encourage skimming). I am very grateful to hear feedback.

Lately I had a sample then I opened a new bottle. The funny thing is that I found more vanilla that I used to find in Laphroaig (which was often close to nothing). What I really like from Laphroaig is the meaty taste that come from the smoke, the fruit and some anise. That is why I love the quarter cask, but this new 10 yo with his vanilla and a peat a bit more woody his making a wink at the Hazelburn CV to me while maintaining his true Islay personality (smoke, medicinal, peat). And as my glass go down, it come back to the old Laphroaig that I love. So I hope you'll buy a bottle in 2014 and let us know what you think of it.

@Nock

This bottle was bought and opened in November of 2011. By July of 2012 this bottle really oxidized – most noticeably in the finish. Again, I offer this review to bolster the consistency of Laphroaig 10yo. “But Nock why only rate this guy at 86 when you seem to love it so much?” Great question. Mainly because I value 5 categories, and I try and assess each one honestly on its own merit. And to be honest Laphraoig 10yo is not all that well balanced or complex. And while I enjoy the nose, taste, and finish I have to admit that several other distilleries on Islay have it beat week in and week out. This malt is a classic example of a dram that “drink better then it scores” in my book (thanks @paddockjudge for the topic!)

Nose: Wet earth and moss. Peat, iodine, and smoke. Sea spray, oak, and salt. This is a wonderful nose that continues to grow on me. It is every bit as earthy and dark as the Lagavulin 16yo, but with more antiseptic and medical gauze. There is a ton of ozone to go along with the peat and earth - rich dark peat. While I recognize that this is not as mysterious and complex as the Lagavulin I still really enjoy this nose. Where the Lagavulin is wave after wave of complexity this is a standard solid nose of “earth peat.”

Taste: The oak is slightly bitter, but there is peat to ease your sorrows. Smoke, oak and salty cod also linger in the mouth.

Finish: (early experience) Nice big blast of peat and oak. The oak is slightly bitter and the peat ever so slightly sweet. Both seem to keep the other in check. Lovely long peat and smoke finish. This is what it tastes like to sit on the beach of the Atlantic ocean in the late fall, and watch the tide come in.

(Late July) More then a bit oxidized. It almost has a bit of red wine tannin to it. After the peat and fire there are bitter lemons and burnt orange peals.

Balance, Complexity: (early experience) Not terribly complex. There are things from the doctor’s office and things from a beach bonfire. Not the most balanced malt, but I do like the balance between the bitter and sweet. Not too much of either; a little of both.

(Late July) This is a difficult call given the heavy oxidation in this bottle. It obviously is not what it was. The nose and taste were great but the finish was all off. What do you say? Interesting complexity on the nose and taste. Also complex on the finish but in a bad way so the balance is way off?

Color, Body, Aesthetic experience: Nice consistent golden amber (thanks E-150 . . .) and huge full body. I like this label a lot – the Crest of the prince of Wales and the green bottle shape. I dislike the all white and the extra date sticker near the neck.

Conclusion: I have scored this specific bottle 4 times over the course of about 9 months. The first three scores were all spot on 86. The final score in late July (with the off finish) caused the score to fall to 81. After that score I poured the remaining three fingers in to my Old Bastard Blend bottle. For the purposes of this grade I am going to drop that final score and simply give you the score for the majority of the life of this bottle. I think it fair given my consistent grade of 23.5 (which translates to 86.25 or just 86). Laphroaig is consistent. My only issue is that sometimes, with too much oxidization, the finish can turn even more bitter and loose its balance. Still, I will never be without a bottle of this in my cabinet.

Great job at giving detailed nuance and complexity to your review. Thank you.

@Victor - thanks for your kind words and continued encouragement. It means a great deal.

@Nock

The standard Laphroaig has really grown on me in the past few years. I use to always keep a bottle around as my “reference peat" malt for when I would compare anything with peat. I always treated this as my workhorse single malt. It is only in the last few months (as the price has continued to rise) that I have realized how much I enjoy it. This is a bottle I bought and opened on 5/18/2011.

Nose: Murky, muddy, seaweed bog layered in peat. Pine, mint and sap linger in the background while notes of oak and turpentine make surprise explosions and then recede. Now the medicinal and antiseptic notes appear and almost singe the nose with their sterility.

Taste: Moss, peat, and oak at the fore with a strong bitterness in the background.

Finish: Salty and peaty storm that builds slowly and then fades slowly never really cresting. It is almost like I can taste the charcoal and ash from a peat fire that was put out earlier. Defiantly still getting that earthiness and bitter mud along with the peat, oak, and salt.

Balance, Complexity: Not the most balanced or complex malt out there, but it really seems to hit what it intends to do. Love the notes of turpentine and antiseptic mixed with the mud and mossy peat.

Aesthetic experience: A nice amber color. Full-bodied. I even think the 43% kind of works for this whisky. Love the aesthetics and the appointment by the Prince of Wales. There is something nice about the green bottle and white label. However, I love the aesthetics that Ardbeg and Diageo (with Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Port Ellen) achieve much better.

Conclusion: I used this bottle as a reference in 5 different tasting sessions. The score was always about the same with only a small variance (86, 85, 87, 86, 86). After about a year the finish was still fantastic. I have had some Laphroaig 10yo turn too bitter and sour on me. Not this bottle.

S

I find it hard to believe that my very first foray into review writing here (and before I go any further I should mention that this will not be anything like the great reviews with tasting notes I read daily on here; I'm nowhere near that level yet!) would be not about one of the sherried Speysiders which for the last few years I've believed to be my particular tipples, but instead a(perhaps even the) Islay peat monster, the Laphroaig 10-year.

Having become fairly convinced that, for me, the smoky, peaty malts were not to my palate and that I would forever be sticking with the likes of the Glendronach and the Aberlour, and having eschewed those more "characterful" islanders for so long, I decided to revisit them to see whether my palate had developed to the extent that I could finally appreciate what so many others do.

And lo! it came to pass that he did take one sip of the be-peated nectar, and declared it "bloody good!" Since my previous encounters with peated malts, a good deal of the stuff has been pushed across the larynx, and this has clearly had a dramatic effect on my tastes. Whilst I think I will always hold a preference for such masterpieces as the Aberlour 18-year and A'bunagh, and the Glendronach 15- and 21-year, I have to say that the Laphroaig 10-year was £30-odd very well spent, as it has opened my eyes to an entirely new dimension to explore.

On the nose, the smokiness which had previously been so alien to me suddenly becomes a warm and welcoming friend, the smoke from a crofter's fireplace on a cold winter's night as he closes the door and gestures for me to pull up a chair. It is neither harsh, overpowering or off-putting, but quite the reverse in all respects, and sits atop a honey sweetness, the combination of which is quite remarkable.

On the palate there is the honey again, a maritime saltiness which is never allowed to sit too long before a quite delightful fresh sweetness washes it away.

The finish recapitulates the nose and leaves behind a warmth that is a sheer joy.

So, there it is, my first review. Not, as I mentioned, anything like the magnificently descriptive and colourful accounts to which I aspire, but one which hopefully gives some impression of my pleasure at discovering "The Joy of Smoke". So bring on the Lagavulin, sling over the Bruichladdich, and after you with the Ardbeg!

Impressive first review and an excellent bottling to do it with.

Great first review. Way better than my stuff! And a good expression to start with. May I suggest the Uigeadail and the Corry to follow next?

@hunggar

I’ve always had a soft spot for Laphroaig. The Laph 10 is one of the best bang for your buck Islay drams to be found out there. Here in Taiwan, it sells for only slightly over $30, which is an absolute steal for a dram of this caliber. It’s a tricky dram. Is it a powerful peat monster or is it a mellow, laid back easy sipper? Well… both, really.

Nose: The infamous Laphroaig ‘sweet peat.’ Beautiful honey, mild salt, lovely smoke, malt, pears, and just a hint of lemon cough drops. This isn’t a nose I spend much time picking apart and deconstructing. The individual notes aren’t particularly crisp, but they do mesh together beautifully. Mellow but powerful, with that wonderful rounded sweetness.

Palate: Brine, smoke, earthy peat, with a gorgeous light honey note. The brine is ever present and unmistakably coastal, but it’s neither sharp nor overbearing. The palate, like the nose, is best considered on the whole rather than the sum of its parts. Slightly more forceful than the nose suggested, but still a very pleasant dram.

Finish: Here we get drying oak, industrial smoke, all complimented by that signature sweetness. Spicy, but not peppery or sharp in the least. Smooooooth.

This is one of the smoothest and most rounded 10 year old whiskies to be found out there. And its Laphroaig’s endearing honey/sweet character that tapers what would otherwise be a very powerful peaty blast. When first opened, it comes off as a quite a beast of a dram. With time, that mellows out and becomes a sleek and easy sipper with a very pleasant honeyed character. Usually when a whisky changes character over time, you’re left with a preference. Maybe you preferred it freshly opened. Maybe the opposite is true and you prefer the whisky later in its ‘life.’ Well, this whisky has changed a lot in the months since I bought it. BUT… I’m left without a preference. I liked it fresh and I like it now, for different reasons. A whisky which evolves greatly yet remains thoroughly enjoyable at every stage is a rare and beautiful thing.

L

I have tasted this Laphroaig early on in my whisky adventure, but by that time when we bonded it was mostly due to me being a youth easily impressed by the wonderfull damp and mineral peat that has been this distillery's byword.

There is a saying that Laphroaig is a whisky you either love or hate, and if there's truth in that, then i am definitely a "lover". But soemeone who is an even bigger lover of the Laphroaig icon is my girlfriend. I introduced her the Quarter-Cask (earlier review) which i was already used to, and she completely fell for it to the point of being even more crazy about it than me. Speaking of which, this is actually her bottle, but i am only sampling a little, because i don't need much when i have in fact had this review in the works for more than 8 years in my head.

Nose: Big Bold Peat! After it a damp, bitter vegetal note with salt and sweet liquorice&sweet spices. Golden syrup makes up the flavour background in tandem withe damp vegetal note but hints the body which will follow on the palate. Smokey rubber, rounding off with vanilla and vanilla pods.

Palate: Kipper smoke and rubbery peat go hand-in hand. Road tar, chalk and a flinty stony classic "Laphroaig" mineral underlying quality that peeps up it's head now and again. Bitter toffee and vanilla sweetness. TCP and bitter aniseed make up the development with syrupy malt with more vanilla and lingering rubbery peat with iodine following.

Finish: Not as long as before but it is satisfyingly lingering. The mineral, flinty Laphroaig character comes back to mark the finish, Sea rocks? The syrupy malt pans out everything with vanilla until the tar comes back with iodine to dry it up on the palate.

An islay classic which everyone should taste, probably my favourite of the three southern Islay distilleries, i seem to have a weakness for bold characters.. Still agood'n this malt, but as anyone would probably note: Higher strength and this one is well in the 90's, for me. One of the greats, impressive to seea malt hold it's own so well even at 40%, Wow!

Beautiful review, I enjoy Islay whisky and bold flavors too. This is one of my favorites too.

Thanx for the compliment! Yea that Laphroaig signature flavour really is something isn't it? Has allways loved it, although i wish they would bring the Cask Strength version back

@Georgy

NOSE: lovely vanilla peat, a whole lot of iodine, a touch of menthol, burned wood smoke.

TASTE: smooth peat and smoke with sherry sweetness on the background that eventually dries out...

FINISH (here comes the best part): after the sherry notes dry out, warming sweet peat comes back for a second and then disappears completely, leaving you with burned oak and ash.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: a very unique finish to this whisky in my opinion! And of course you get all the peaty-smoky-iodine package that you'd expect from Laphroaig.

@GBrough

I went out for drinks last night, and the bar had laphroaig and seeing that i have never had the pleasure of having this islay i got a class of it, and wrote notes on the flavour's and nose i got on it. Nose: Burnt hay,burnt seaweed, sea salt,black pepper, campfire by the beach. Palate: Can i say peat, with an oily texture, seaweed, pepper, sea salt, smoked salmon, some fruit, butter toffee. Finish: Smoke, peat, a touch of oiliness on the palate. I had a sip of a friends margarita 10 minutes later and it tasted like smoked limes.

The part in your review about the "smoked limes" just got me excited. I've heard stories of people who woke up the morning after having a dram of this and still tasted smoke and peat in their mouths! :) All I can say to that is, yum!

One of my absolute favourites - but I just wrote a review of an old miniature of Laphroaig 10 that must have been in some sherry casks. Not sure of the date (before it was issued a Royal Warrant, I'm sure, and before it was bought by Fortune Brands) but it completely blew me away, one of the greatest drams I have ever had.

@MisterDigger

Here is another one that I tasted at the bar and deemed it not good enough to buy. I gave it another try at another bar about a week later and my opinion went from bad to worse. For me it is downright repulsive because of the heavy smoke. I did try to keep the score higher than I would have so as to not bias the rating for those who may want to try it and wind up liking it.

I have my theory on why malt lovers crave the Laphroaigs and Lagavulins. If one smokes, they will tend to like those. If one does not smoke (like yours truly), they will tend to hate those. For me, I am so turned off by smoking that it my number one deal killer for any prospective girlfriend. If she smokes, she will only go so far as being just friends. So I certainly do not want to drink anything that reminds me of kissing an ashtray. I do have four Islay Malts in my collection, but I just don't care for those at the far end of the Flavor Map such as this one.

@Nemesis101

I have recently been lucky enough to acquire a sample of Laphroaig Cairdeas 2012 Origin. And I thought what better way to taste it than to benchmark it back to back with the classic Laphroaig 10.

So here we go with Laphroaig 10 part 1 of the tasting session....

It's actually been a long time since I tried this one despite it being the most widely available Islay whisky expression, (in the UK at least it's available just about everywhere that sells alcohol). There's probably not much I can say about it that hasn't already been said? What I will say though is that years ago, when I first tried it I liked it a lot. But after a bit of time and trying other peaty whiskies I started to think of it as a one-trick-pony - ie very high on the smokiness but little else. Now however, revisiting it after several years either the whisky has changed or my palate is more trained, (and I suspect the latter). No need to mention peaty smokiness but there's also a lot of underlying sweetness on the nose that I'd never detected previously. Iodine, sea-spray, dying embers of a bonfire.

The palate also surprisingly provides an initial sweetness which quickly gives way to a briney smokiness. Burning wood and leaves and a charcoal barbeque note. Left for a bit of time I also get an oily kippery flavour. A dry smoky finish which is over too quickly for my liking.

I wish they'd follow Bunnahabhain's lead in changing their signature expression to 46%, and making it non-chill filtered. I also suspect this uses a bit of caramel - the colour is suspiciously dark for a 10yo bourbon cask.

This is also edging up in price too, (£33/$50 for this bottle). I remember buying it for £18 only six or seven years ago! It's a nice every day dram that for me should be in the £25-£30/$37-$45 bracket.

So with that tasted, onto the Origin......

Yes, there is fake carmel coloring in there. Unfortunately.

@fredthefrench

I won't write any tasting notes about such a classic as Laphroaig 10. Most of Connosr members did it much better than i could do. I'll only write my feeling about such a astonishing malt. I was expecting something extremely medicinal and thought i could hardly sniff it, if all i read about it was right. And how was i surprised when i sniffed this warm and delicate smoke, how was i surprised when i tasted this delicious and delicate liquor with just a drop of water. The second time i opened the bottle,several weeks later, peat seemed even naturally tamed, nose revealed more sherry, not a complex clean and long sherried presence (and taste) as Ardbeg's, but something affordable and confident,as if Laphroaig was already an old connaissance, even if it was only the second time we met each other. This whisky is like the old worn Barbour jacket in our wardrobe. It has the elegance of a classic that'll never let you down. Today, Laphroaig 18 years has to be in my wish list.

@Rantavahti

Laphroaig 10 year old is so legendary and cost efficient that I don't have to go on about it. Master of Malts: "The only malt from Laphroaig’s range that John Campbell recommends with water: try it, it opens up the palate massively, providing a dazzling array of additional flavors". I tried and I agree!

Laphroaig 10 is like Mike Myers going to the hospital in Halloween II. Strong character in a healing environment.

Nose: Great and rich. Smoky peat with iodine. One of the best aromas out there.

Taste: Very oaky and peaty dram with spices. Medicinal malt with hints of vanilla.

Finish: Strong but not too rough. Smoke and tar with iodine. Dry and complex.

Balance: Strong and "healing" all the way.

I think I may be the only one I know who much prefers Laphroaig 10 without water! Perhaps my palate just isn't that refined but I don't think water does this whisky any favors. To me, it actually washes it out a bit. Am I crazy!?

@lostboyscout

I recently sat down with the 10 year and Quarter Cask to do a direct comparison. I am not well versed in detecting the subtle nuances of what I experience, but I know what I like.

Nose: There is some sweetness, and definitely an ocean air aroma along with the soft bite of alcohol. Only a hint of smoke, surprisingly little knowing what's coming.

Body: Light to medium, smooth and velvety

Palate: Rich, warm smoke, impressively smooth and balanced. I don't get a lot more than this smoke personally, but it's so pleasant perhaps I can't look past it.

Finish: Medium to long, the smokey peat trailing off gently.

The end result? I actually prefer this a little bit over it's brother the Quarter Cask. I'm in the smaller camp there though, perhaps.

@edt101171

This is a true mans scotch. Peaty, smokey, earthy. If your a man who loves the taste of cigarettes, pipe tobacco, or even cigars.....you will fall in love with this scotch. My first time my brother bought me a batch of small tester scotches of some single malt islay...and I fell in love instantly with scotch. (later I looked up and researched the most peatiest and smokiest of all islay's and came up with "laphroig" I will never turn back

well from what I hear..Laphroig is the most peatiest and smokiest of them all. This is just from what I have read in the past and in on the internet. There could be more out there since Im not a super expert myself

I don't even smoke and I fell in love with this scotch at first drink. Absolutely amazing can't wait to try another Islay scotch like Ardbeg 10 or Lagavulin 16.

@Pierre_W

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.

@MaltActivist

The Laphroaig 10, in my opinion, is possibly one of the finest and most flavorful single malts out there. And at a price which begs for multiple bottles to be stowed away for a rainy day. Which is precisely what I've done.

The nose is like standing atop a hill overlooking the churning sea as a light drizzle of honey and lemon spatter against your anorak. As you look up the strong peat and iodine coupled with the salty spray of the gorgeous waves remind you what it is like to be in Islay country. And carried on the back of the robust smoke comes just the tiniest hint of black pepper spices.

The honeyed palate covered in oak shavings and cardamon pods is truly a work of art. The beautifully balanced greens give way to the most delightful peppery profile I have ever encountered.

The medium finish is just so ever slightly nutty with a dab of, dare I say it, dark chocolate and spice.

Scrumptious!

This was the first single malt that really set me on my path, big time - this may be my favourite whisky of all time. Which is entirely personal - arguments can be made that this is a blunt instrument, and in its way the Quarter Cask is a "better" dram, more complex etc. But I LOVE my Laphroaig 10 - that will never change.

@Sebastiaan

A nose of pure campfire smoke, with a hint of sweetness. Smooth body with a bit of salt and a light twinkling and smokey finish. A pleasure.

Also an experience, my favorite SM Scotch I found mine at 43% in a local college town. Absolutely great!!!

@GotOak91

I had acquired this one due to the tempting wanted experience of an Islay whisky. So I gave into temptation and like all temptations they end up being great at least in the short run. Anyways....

Nose: Immediately as I opened it the first scent was smoked ham and bacon with a gentle salty twinge. Its like a barbecue of smoked pork on the beach. There is a bit of alcohol in the nose but it also has a tad bit of sweet vanilla inside. This is one of the best noses I've encountered. I might be a peathead, so far anyway.

Body: Full bodied, warming, and realtively smooth.

Taste: Full of smoke, char, smoked salty meats, and a little rubber. I can now say that I understand that flavor. In short this whisky tastes like being the grillmaster cooking in front of a full charcoal grill. This is what a real man's whisky tastes like.

Finish: Long, smoky, salty, and beautiful. There are some earthy tones within this finish. This seems to last forever on the finish which I must say its one of those tastes I won't mind having forever.

I've came to the conclusion that since this is a classic Islay, I believe that I am a self-proclaimed peathead. This is one of those whiskies you have to try once even though you think you might not like it. Its more than a whisky, it is an experience. I can't wait to acquire an Ardbeg or a Lagavuin. Even an older expression would be incredible.

Great review. I was unfortunate to have bought this whisky early on and was unaware of what I was dealing with. I'm wanting to give the whole Laphroaig line another taste now. Hopefully I'll be able to articulate some accurate notes!

Welcome to the club my friend! Great review by the way. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bowmore, etc = YUM (Even more so Port Ellen!!!) It's funny I wouldn't call myself a peat head or an Islay man (I just love whisky PERIOD!) but out of the 5 bottles waiting for me in Scotland, 4 are Islays (for the record it was not intended to be that way, completely accidental!)

Enjoy the journey to the Peat Side my friend! It's a fun and awesome one! As you said it's not a whisky, it's an experience.

k

I can't say I'm over enamoured with this particular whisky, but it does represent quite reasonable value for the price. I bought a bottle during a recent trip up to the highlands, and stopped of in a small whisky shop along the way (I forget the name ). The whisky itself is really quite peaty, and like others might say - it does have a medicinal smell. We tried it amongst a group of us, and whilst it went down reasonably well, and the group is fond of peaty whisky, I don't think this one will be on the repeat purchase list.

S

Wow- sensational! I am young to appreciating fine whiskey (my mates fault of course!) having being given a bottle of Powers Irish which kicked me off, I moved to JW black, to Glenlivet12 (mighty fine) and now on recommendation Laphroiag! After arguing with the bloke bout the price I bought it back home tonight and opened it watching the football (I know I know)... I had read many reviews about the peat, but wow, talk about smoke in your mouth, didn't like the nose at first, but after a few rolls over the tongue, a small amount of water in the mix it was an acquired taste, but in a good way... You find yourself wanting more. Great stuff, will keep the opened bottle for a couple of months, but lovin the lasting taste. Thanks I all the advisors on this blog, glad I made the journey!

Laphroaig is my #1 favourite distillery - and this is one of a handful of my favourite whiskies.

@Victor

Why another Laphroaig 10 review? There are some perspectives that I consider important, which are sometimes overlooked. Most reviews give a 'snapshot in time' look at a whisky, either from a new bottle, or from a bottle of indeterminate age of opening, as from a bar sample. There is much to point out about how a bottle changes over time, and also about how a different whisky strikes the reviewer at different points in her/his 'whisky journey'. The reviewed bottle of Laphroaig 10 has been open about 20 months, mostly because it was a gift when I already had another open bottle...that, plus the 150 other open bottles I have to distract me

Nose: lots of smoke at first, which dissipates greatly after the bottle has been open a month or two, lots of relatively aggressive peat, which tames a bit with long bottle opening, and a sweetness which just becomes sweeter still, with the bottle long-opened. There is the characteristic Laphroaig brine and medicinal quality, which gradually mellows with age

Taste: everything said of the nose is true of the mouth; the aggressive flavour thrust when the bottle is first opened tames down with time, but in a very pleasant way. This whisky just gets sweeter and sweeter the more time passes

Finish: true of nose and palate, true of finish--it stays strong, but somewhat mellowed out from a longer-opened bottle

Balance: when I first tasted Laphroaig 10 a few years ago I was shocked at its intensity, having not previously experienced those strong taste profiles. A few years later, Laphroaig 10 seems like a mellow old friend, rather than like a roaring lion. The beautiful sweetness that grows within the open bottle makes up for the loss of smoke from the early going after opening the bottle. Nowadays I think of Laphroaig 10 the way others think of, say, Compass Box Asyla, just a nice mellow friend to take along for a taste trip. It is actually one of my favourite SUMMER drams

Thanks, @Victor, for another fine review. Maybe in another 10 years, my cabinet will rival yours -- for now, I'm still working on building up a collection of the basics. Laphroaig 10 was one of the three peat giants (along with Ardbeg 10yo and Lagavulin 16yo) that I regarded as essential to my education, and I'm torn as to which among them I prefer. (Forced to choose, probably the Lagvaulin.) What I especially enjoy about your reviews are your examinations of how tastes change with time and with bottle level. My Laphroaig 10 is still fairly new, with the level still above the top of the label, so I look forward to seeing if I experience the same increased sweetness. Thanks for pointing out such things to notice.

"how a different whisky strikes the reviewer at different points in her/his 'whisky journey'." Your words speak the truth. My first encounter with Laphroaig 10 left the glass a quarter full on the table. I thought it was just too much - bad move!! A year later at the same place, it revealed itself to me. The waves were there, the ashes fainted away in my mouth on a magical finish...heck I could almost hear the sea gulls flying over me! Now I have it on my wish list!

@Jahjehwa

So much character! I can almost taste it before I even poor a dram. I was almost hesitant on trying this as I thought Ardbeg was going to be the peak of standard Islay malt. I was wrong, you can taste so much of what is described by the makers of what is a simple whisky made from all that is Islay.

Nose: For me; its not the smokey, peaty character that grabs my attention. Its the brine, almost as if your smelling the sea spray off the coast on a damp cold windy day. The smoke from a fire trying to keep flame in the harsh weather, The light almost butterscotch sweetness that fills your nostrils. Not overpowering at all and you can really take it in.

Taste: Dry, pungent salty caramel in soot. Very earthy, Very smooth but bitter, not overly, but enough.

Complexity: Fairly simple, not very complex at all. But you know what your getting and I think it was made for just that.

Finish: It begs you for another taste as it lightly lingers on the back of your tongue. Soon your dram is gone and you can help but to fill it back up and reacquaint yourself with another nose of a magnificent Whisky!

@valuewhisky

Just in case there weren't enough reviews of Laphroaig 10 out there, I'll throw in my two-cents:

The nose is awesome. Peat, peat, peat! This has a medicinal (band-aid) peat aroma. I am not a huge fan of overly-medicinal peat in some other expressions, but it just works here. I love sticking my nose in the glass. More so, in fact, than actually drinking this one! In the background of the nose behind the peat, there is some vanilla, some oak (this is 100% first-fill bourbon cask), some smoke, and occasionally some apples, especially as the glass gets low.

On the palate, this whisky has decent weight for a low-ABV, though I wish it were fuller. It has an ashy/peppery kick in the front of the tongue which I find in most heavily peated whiskies, but otherwise is quite smooth and easy to drink. There is some sweetness on the palate: vanilla and apple juice. The finish is slightly ashy, chalky and bitter. Needless to say, there is plenty of peat on the palate and finish.

I rate this in the low "B" range, which to me means that I really enjoy it but it's probably not something I'll seek out too often. I think this expression pales compared to its biggest competitor: Ardbeg 10 (and even Laphroaig Quarter Cask). However, don't be afraid to get a bottle and make your nose happy. Just don't expect an explosion on the palate.

This is my "destination" whisky. After a long-term relationship with old caribbean rums I have suddenly jumped into this Laphroaig realm and since then - no looking back to rums and bourbons (maybe just from time to time, to make sure :-).

@Unkempt27

Islay whiskies have a reputation as 'peat bombs.' And while this may be a major characteristic of most of the whiskies from the Island (The sweeter, sherried Bunnahabhain being a notable exception), for me only one of them is worthy of being the Peat King, and that is Laphroaig.

While Lagavulin and Highland Park may be fairly peaty, they also boast other characteristics. And Ardbeg, which many consider to be up there with Laphroaig in peatiness, also has a fruity side. And although the complexity and range of flavours in these whiskies may outweigh that of Laphroiag's, you have to admire Laphroiag for it's boldness. Don't get me wrong, there are other flavours, and there is a level of complexity and balance. But these never compromise the peatiness, only compliment it.

Laphroaig knows what it is about, and is proud of it, making it the ultimate peat experience.

Colour: Gold

Nose: Wow. Big peat, straw, smoke. Seaweed, and slight chlorine.

Taste: Again, peat. Pungent at first, but develops into delicate flavours. Honey, butter and sweetcorn. Big, tasty and really well balanced.

Finish: Long finish, the peat goes on and on, but now with some spice. Salt also arrives. Smoke also rises, and finishes with a lovely sweetness.

This whisky is big and powerful, yet clean and fresh. Huge, exceptional nose, great taste, and a superb finish. Not one for the beginner!

@Donski

I was at my parents house when my dad offers me a whisky, i take a look in his cabinet and see this sitting there so decide to give it a try. Now this is my first single malt so did not know what to expect but as soon as i opened the bottle i could tell i was in for something i never had before. As the cork came out it was followed by a flaming log the hits you right in the face. I go ahead and pour the glass as my wife on the other side of the room mentions see can smell it also. So i sit and have a sip. WTF is it meant to taste like that? was the first thing in my head. I jumped on to connosr and find out a little about it and yep that is how it is meant to taste. That log that hit me earlier is back with some friends and a heap peat.

I finished my glass not knowing what to think, not sure if i liked it or hated it but it did stay on my mind. It was about 2 weeks later when back at my parents when i asked my dad if he tried it and by the look on his face i knew the answer so he offered me the bottle which i gladly accepted. Another week later and i tried it again and this time enjoyed it a fair bit, got some different flavors a couple of times but my palate is not good enough to pick them up but mainly smoke and peat. Not long after the bottle was gone.

So do i like this whisky? yes but i do have to be in the mood for it Would i buy it again? yes

Liking smoke, decomposing vegetative dirt, brine, and "medicine" in your drink are for the vast number of people acquired tastes. Yet, most of those who post on this site have most definitely acquired them, and often developed quite a passion for them. I think that Laphroaig has one of the most distinctive and identifiable "house style"s among distilleries, and one which I very much like.

Have fun discovering the rest of the world of big peat/big smoke!

Great review my friend!!! I definitely find Laphroaig to be a mood whisky, not an everyday drinking dram. Have you tried Ardbeg or Lagavulin yet?

@SquidgyAsh

So the other day my brother and sister in law came over to the house to join us all at dinner. Us all being my wife, my parent in laws, and myself. We each brought out a bottle to share.

My bottle was Shackleton's Replica which everyone enjoyed, my brother in laws was Lagavulin 16 yr old, which was also enjoyed by everyone, and my father in laws bottle.

Laphroaig 10 yr old.

Now this is one I've never tried before, but I'd heard good things about this one and having had Ardbeg and Lagavulin before I was very keen to give it a shot!

So everyone grabs a glass and pours their own dram so I happily help myself to a dram of Laphroaig.

I offer the glass to my wife and she noses it a little bit then recoils immediately.

"I don't like that!! Too smokey!!"

So I take a nose on my glencairn.

BAM!!!!

The smells of bonfire smoke and peat beat me in the face, with undertones of iodine, burnt bandaids, and seaweed. Very very primal smells for me. It makes me think that this must be what whisky smelled like a thousand or so years ago in Europe.

I offer my wife the glass to take a sip, which she does and then immediately informs me...

"Don't like that, at all. My throat is on fire!"

She then takes a huge glass of water and drinks it.

I then cautiously take a sip.

WOOOEEEEEEH!

In my mouth there is pretty much what I was smelling....Lots of peat, lots of smoke, iodine, and seaweed. This whisky definitely sets me back in time that thousand years ago. I see the Crusades, I see villages on the seaside burning as horsemen ride over a grassy hill.

The finish is fairly short with lots of spice, black peppers kicking me in the throat with smoke and peat following it.

This was definitely the least favorite whisky of the night.

Is it a bad whisky? Nope!

I just have to be in a special mood to want to drink any.

Maybe a pillaging mood!

Mmmmm pillaging.

I will have to pick up SOME sort of bottle from Laphroaig eventually, but I'm not sure if this will be the bottle for me.

It runs for around $80 AUS at Dan Murphy's. Which isn't half bad, but I think I'd rather grab a bottle of Lagavulin 16 yr old or Ardbeg.

MarsViolet,

Glad that you enjoyed it! It's a very yummy whisky! I've been trying to snag the Quarter Cask among several other bottles for a while now, but man the 10 yr old is an awesome intense whisky!

This is one of my favorite reviews. I haven't tried Laphroaig yet, as I'm saving my bottle of 10 year for this year's cold season, but your review makes it so difficult to wait! I'm going to wear my viking hat, eye patch, and get into the pillaging mood before I meet this dram.

@GT2

Thick legs along the glass. Served neat. Deeper gold to light copper SRM. Darker than other Scotches. Muted bacon nose with spiced pear. Taste is tannic and lightly hot with mild anesthetic qualities. Palate is oily, more cod liver oil than Ardbeg equivalents. Wasn't a big fan.

J

Nose: Big peat and smoke, rich iodine, salt, seaweed, the distinct smell of a first aid box and bandades, some toffee and slight fruit like sweetness.

Palate: Salty seaweed like, rich iodine followed by a large serving of peat and smoke, savoury spices, chilli, black pepper.

Finish: A little weak, dry savoury taste, peat and smoke, plasters, medicinal taste and iodine.

Quite different from the other Islay peat bomb distillery Ardbeg, truth be told I much prefer the Ardbeg 10 to this, the shortest way I can think to compare is the Ardbeg 10 is creamy, buttery sweet and peaty whereas the Laphroig is more iodine, medicinal, plasters, seaweed like and peaty. Just a preference of mine, I have friends who enjoyed this bottle much more then I did.

@Mountrain

This one is best if you let it breathe for 15 mins and give it no more than a teaspoon of water. The peat taste hits first followed by a bonfire smoke taste. Its smooth and a bit too easy for me to drink hence getting another bottle.

@darktrader

I tell people newer to whicky than me that the most controversial scotch whisky, and maybe whisky in general, is Laphroaig.

Few exist between the extremes on love/hate continuum - you either dismiss it as just a little better than snake oil, or you revel in its complexity and oddity.

My quick snapshot of the experience:"Imagine the burning embers of a beach bonfire at low tide, right before you take a sniff of a NyQuil shot."

That captures all the nose and taste characteristics for me...

@maxrecline

Laphroaig 10 is wonderful. It has everything you want in an Islay malt: peat, sea salt, and sweetness. It makes me think of shooting raw oysters. With the powerful flavors of this whisky, I find that a small splash of water makes it very enjoyable drinking once you're done doing your "tasting." if Lag 16 is a beautiful and sophisticated woman, then Laph 10 is her hot younger sister. You'll have a good time drinking with both, but you take them to different parties.

@jdhowens

Laphroaig's ten-year-old expression greets you with a full-throated shout of peat. There is no getting away from it. If you strongly dislike peaty smoke, you won't like this. But I don't and I do, if you see what I mean, which is extremely fortunate, since if you can get along with it this is a whisky to savour.

The scent of peat is thick and intense: the influence of the burning histosol that dries the malted barley is clearly key to understanding Laphroaig. The soil-rich scent of a wet allotment pervades the nose. There's also a distinctly medicinal undertone, reminiscent of old, honeydew hospital wards where matron reigns supreme. These twin qualities, of peat and of medicine, persist throughout the whisky to an extent that is hard to make clear. But if you take your time with it, and push gently through the more obvious notes, the whisky reveals a sweetly surprising alter ego. After a little while, Laphroaig isn't just a wall of wet earth: it has an airy freshness that enlivens the nose, tinged with a subtle sweetness. Engaging hints of violet and lemon juice dance in and out of reach.

Best to move onto the palate before the nose becomes any more beguiling. On the tongue, the whisky is oily, and smokey all over again - though this time with a new aspect. The first taste announces itself with a maritime edge, slightly salty. As it rests on the palate it develops a drier texture not unlike charcoal, and increasingly sustained through the not overlong finish with the suggestion of a slight peppery spice.

Laphroaig, then, is a memorable whisky, very much in the style of its Islay brethren. Swirl it in the glass and, as it settles, the languid body forms tendrils that echo the peat smoke that makes the whisky. If you like Islay whiskies, you'll probably love it; if you dislike them, this is unlikely to be any different. But either way, you owe it to yourself to try it, and to be patient with it: Laphroaig's beauty is more than skin-deep.

Nice review. One of the things I really like about Laphroaig 10 is that an opened bottle just gets sweeter and sweeter after a few months. After say, six to eight months, an open bottle of Laphroaig 10 has lost a lot of the smoke in the nose, but has, in my experience, gained a lot of additional sweetness. I enjoy it when first opened, and I enjoy it after it has been long opened.

Thanks for reading! Glad you like the review - I completely agree about the way Laphroaig changes over time. It's like every time you go back to it the balance between the flavours has shifted very slightly. Keeps you learning! (That's my excuse for drinking lots of it, anyway...)

@shimaaji

long time no see. it is one of the base taste in the islay whisky. steady.

Well thank you for the quick response. I am actually extremely new to scotch whisky single malt. My 1st scotch was a blend; The Dimple, Pinch. A scotch blend that I do not recommend. Sharp and quickly ending in taste. I then went with a reference from a friend to try Glenmorangie 10 yr which intrigued me. Curious. Hmmm. Ok so quickly shelfed that and picked up a Glenlivet 12 year. Wow. Now that was delicious. Although my cherry was already popped, I now fell in love. Before ending that relationship, days later, I cheated on her at a local Pub that served fine scotch whisky. The little homewrecker was a sweet but bitter little ladie by the name of Balvenie, yes The Balvenie 12 year double wood. And wow was she gracious, I instantly was admired, and had hoped to enjoy a movie with her, home, over a warm fireplace. So I pursued my heart the next day in hopes to rendezvous with her in my local wines n spirit shop. She didn't show up, but left me with her much older relative; Portwood. But she indeed was no little lady. At the age of 21, staring and glaring at me through that fine can can body. So very classy. It was as she new I had to take her home... And so I did. With great eagerness we both casually strolled out and into my car. I placed her in the passenger seat and turned the ignition hearing the roar of my inline 6 BMW m3 engine purr with equal happiness. With great spirit we sprinted off to my place, parked, door opened and home at last. But not quite. I popped the top and unwrapped her fine silky paper only to see her big 21 staring right back at me. Oh sweet baby I just could not pop the cork. No. It just didn't feel right with my ol Glenlivet 12 glaring at me with her green glowing beauty settling with envy. I just couldn't do it. I quickly dressed her up, wrapped and back in the can as I reached over and grabbed my livet 12 and kissed her. Sweet baby how could I. I poured that I'll lady into her Glenlivet cup and let her sit as I twirled her about and glistened at her beauty, and then I did it. I smelled her glamour. Once and once more llike foreplay of a summer sun on a rainy day, and then I sipped and sipped like to kids in a park child's play. Mmmmm. The joy of single malt scotch simply settled then wrestled and settled again, like a brother and siter or two best friends. Thank you my friend, yes thank you. It's Glen... Enjoy..

Bug-alarm, no clue why my comment disappeared.

Wanted to say that we all have other scales how we rate a dram. Like most here, I wouldn't give a 58 unless the whisky is total crap in my opinion. I think this isn't true here. Still, reviews are very subjective and like the author wrote, for him it smells like Japanese medicine which might be very off-putting for all of us.

@SpicyMcHaggis

Just to explain the title, I've had a bottle of Laphroaig 10 in the cabinet for a tad too long and just got around to finishing it. I've always considered this one a "contemplative" whisky. It's not one that you can easily down and it is a challenging drink, but it invokes deep thought in me, so I like to savour this on quiet nights when I'm alone.

When you first try it, the peat belts you between the eyes and I guess at this point, you either love it, or hate it. It's always been in a tussle with the other "L", Lagavulin as to who reigns supreme as the peat king. While I enjoy both, I must say I have a soft spot for the "Frog" and I prefer its coal smoke richness to Lagavulins drier mouthfeel.

Great whisky? Nah, but that's not the point. The score is meaningless. If sentimentality and loyalty were the drivers, it would get 100. A classic? You bet, and one to make a return to the cabinet in the not too distant future. The King is dead, long live the King..........

Very nice reviewv :). Long live the King.

@chico

Nose: Fennell, aniseed, melon (honeydew) with water: Tar, Taste: White chocolate, salt and vinegar crisps, phenolic, kippers Finish: Bacon, peat

@talexander

Spectacular, like nothing else I've ever tasted. This whisky somehow transports me geographically to another time and place, and the discriptors that come to mind are very geographic. Aromas of seaweed, wet grass and smoke, then a sweet palate of soil, earth and wood, followed by that huge peat smoke I love so much. Hints of sea salt come out as well, with a cigar-like finish. Very addictive - absolutely wonderful!

@GT2

Neat- tried cut and uncut. Uncut, the pour is a viscous amber orange with honey viscosity. Widely spaced legs emerge. The nose is very meaty with fatty steak. An overall soft nose is accentuated by honey, lavender, mild spicy alcohol. Taste brings dried Ancho chilis, spicy orange peel, subdued alcohol heat. Finish is woody, unbalanced in the tannin department giving off character akin to Johnny Walker Gold or some sort of wildly inferior whiskey. Palate is very thick and honey viscous.

Cut, the aroma improves with less fatty and gamy steak and more honey barbecue ribs. Still, sort of hard to pick out the great flavors with so much horsey and gamy notes in the nose.

This sounds horrible.

I'm over all creeped out

@Rosal

Nose: Big smoke and strong peat. Good dose of sea salt and spice.

Taste: Rich smokiness and peat. Salty seaweed and a very small hint of sweetness

Finish: Long and lingering.

@sailorman

In fact, Islay whiskies are very special in their aroma and taste. Comparing them to other single malts would be like comparing apples with pears. Before the tasting I skimmed through a large number of reviews that expressed a wide range of opinions, from open hostility to peat addiction. In some cases it seemed that drinking a peated whisky like Laphroaig is a matter of “virility” and “toughness” or simply hype and fashion (some people say they love it, but they don’t drink it or like it). My only Islay experience was a bottle of Ardbeg from around 10 years ago, so I thought I was prepared to face the smokiness of the dram. However, what I experienced was far stronger than I expected. But let’s get there step-by-step.

My first dram from a freshly opened bottle had a very heavy smell of smoke, tar, rubber, and mothballs (most probably the phenols) – absolutely overwhelming (both in a positive and a negative sense). But don’t think that the whisky tastes like it smells. On the palate, the most medicinal and chemical aromas vanish and give way to a full-bodied smokiness that partially suppresses the sweet notes in the mouth. The peat lingers on (even after brushing my teeth).

I normally drink my whisky neat, but a splash of water helps to “domesticate” the Laphroaig. It gets smoother, and there are some hints of licorice. This whisky needs some time for tasting. The first impression is a little bit harsh, but do it as some other reviewers recommend: Let it settle for some time (I kept nosing for some 15 minutes before I tasted it)… and play with it: Add a splash of water, swirl it in the glass, wait some time (you can read the details on the label if you want)… This whisky is not for those who are in a hurry. It needs your patience. This way, Laphroaig is a very different experience of single malt. Even if you don’t enjoy it and say “this is not my cup of tea” (oops, not my dram of whisky), you will certainly admit its distinctive character.

@HP12

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?

Awesome review...especially with your ability to cram every relevant sports cliche into one paragraph :) (BTW, 'cowboy up', was that the Angels or the Red Sox?) As a fan of a certain mid-west football team, I will have to "Bear Down" when I try this dram.

While I haven't had a chance to try this yet (only the Laphroaig QC so far), but I would agree with your theory on the stout beer to Islay whisky correlation. I am a fan of more complex beers and find that my whisky preferences lean that way as well...though I am trying to investigate the full range of offerings.

I too tried this early in my whisky journey, and it remains the benchmark. I can appreciate the strength of a rye, the sweetness of a bourbon, the smooth burn of Irish - but the peaty SMSW create my favorite tasting journeys every time and again Laphroaig is like climbing a scotch Mt. Everest.

PS - I gave up drinking for lent, went to a seafood place for Easter and cared not whether the pairing of Laphroaig meshed with the finest fish dish.

PPS - great review, and a great hick-hop tune also www.youtube.com/watch

a

This stuff really puts hair on your chest. It's the closest thing to drinking a campfire you will ever get. It is smokey and, frankly, only good for asserting masculinity. I don't think I've ever had more than a sip of it without SERIOUSLY watering it down. Even just getting a whiff of it burns the hair on the inside of your nose. This bottle will last me YEARS.

I would most likely give my review the same title but I actually prefer the 10 yr to the 18 because it's smokier. It will put hair on your chest and perhaps it isn't for everyone. Give it another try by letting it air out awhile and put a dash of sparkling water; You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much that will take the initial edge off.

Agree with the first reaction, but can't understand why not give it a second chance... The finish makes you want to drink more... A bit of air and it is gold in your mouth. An acquired taste, but one you will love! Can I have your bottle you don't want?

@phillyslick

opening the bottle is enough to unleash the smoke, peat, and iodine of laphroiag - alchemy and campfire. first sip goes straight to the head and warms you. medicinal iodine smoke and peat. haunting, otherworldy, peat-bog-in-the-mouth. long long finish. hows that for descriptive ;)

a

intense smoke, peat and iodine. medicinal. very rich, tasty considering it is a 10 yo. if you love smoke and peat, this is for you.

I have the 10 year and the Quarter Cask, must admit I prefer the QC. The 10 year is a bit more expensive, too. I had occasion to try the Bowmore 12 year last week, and that caused me to buy a bottle. Have to say, I like it very much, every bit as much as the Laphroaig 10 year, but not as much as the QC. The Bowmore 12 year is also about $30.00 cheaper than the Laphroaig 10 year, so it is good to have around when I don't feel like something quite as powerful as the QC,but still crave a bit of peat and smoke, and don't want to spend the extra on the Laphroaig 10 year. Cheers, Carl

Your reviews of Laph 10yr and Ardbeg 10yr are almost identical, yet you gave Ardbeg the edge. Can you compare them against each other for me? I have had the Laph 10yr Cask Strength and Lagavulin 16yr, but never anything from Ardbeg.

@VictorLausten

I first tried this whisky last summer. I took me about 6 months to gather enough courage to order a dram of this exceptional whisky. As most of you are writing, it has strong hints of peat, and smoke. Propably the most... extraordinary whisky I have ever tasted.

However, since I am not a huge fan of smoky and peaty whiskies I would not spend 400 kroners (around 50 £) on the bottle, and I am glad I only decided to buy the 5 cl miniature on a visit to Scotland.

Overall a good whisky if you prefer something special, or just a fan of smoky whiskies.

@Kalekas

Laphroaig - or 'Leapfrog' as a friend from That London refers to it - always was, remains so, and just is. In describing the experience of drinking this apparently rough-hewn Islay whisky it seems a waste of time to stray beyond the usual nods to 'linament', 'embrocation', or whatever medicinal term springs to mind when describing the taste.

But stick your nose in a glass and try to disentangle all the flavour notes and it turns out to be a bit of an all-rounder.

In fact it's an elusive dram; an educated Scot in the late 16C could have been talking about Laphroaig when he stated: "Sa peirles proud, as na toung of man is able to discriue."

But here goes, in an attempt to discriue what it's like to sup a dram of the 10yo. On the nose: soft buttery, vanilla notes; in the mouth a suggestion of a good, sweet serrano ham. Not as linament-strong as I remember and a slightly dry oakiness developing afterwards.

I've just finished a bottle of Triplewood and where that curious expression was busy and extrovert, the 10yo by comparison is subtle - and that's something I'd never thought to say about any Laphroaig.

In summary, it's a classic dram. Once tasted, never forgotten, its seeming austerity - bottled behind the plainest label of any malt I can think of - slowly gives way to what turns out to be a bit of an old sweetie. I could have used a few extra percentage points in abv: 40% seems almost niggardly these days.

Hey there @AboutChoice, Nope, I stand by the review; it was a bottle of 40% Laphroaig 10yo that I was sampling. I've always been a bit cautious about nosing and describing the mouth feel of a whisky and, much as I admire Jim Murray, some of his descriptions seem a bit over-colourful. But this site encourages reviews and reviews encourage an attempt to describe new and old favourites in terms of what the individual senses when they concentrate on a glass of whisky.

I have to admit that very few whiskies are true 'all-rounders', especially if they are to retain the qualities that make them special - maybe Highland Park comes closest to a true all-rounder - but continuing acquaintance with Laphroaig 10yo makes me appreciate that it's got a number of dimensions: sweet and salty, rich and austere, tangy and buttery. In short, I still think it's valid to call it a "bit" of an all-rounder.

'Embrocation' means the same as linament and 'discriue' is auld Scots for 'describe' - the OED lists 'descrier' as 'one who descries or discovers' Apologies for being elusive, like my 10yo, I thought it could be descried from its context.

Hi @Kalekas, OK, so you really meant what you wrote! And, as a result, I'm so curious that I will resample Laph 10, and all my other "smokies" from a more in-depth and discerning perspective. And BTW, my Laph 10 (75cl) is at 43%, and the 70cl bottles appear to be at 40% ... wonder what that is about ?? I wonder if that has something to do with the taste profile ?

And, thanks for the definitions of terms :) I have to agree with you that Highland Park 12 is indeed an all-rounder, and perhaps Laph 10 only if your personal whisky range is confined to the smoky end of the spectrum. My all-rounders are Ardmore Trad Cask, Jura Superstition, Laddie Rocks and Springbank 10 ... all having a footprint similar to your own all-rounder specification. All in all, it was good that your provocative review has rattled my cage! :)

What's next ?

@markjedi1

Today I tried a head-to-head tasting of three core range bottles from Laphroaig, the famous distillery on Islay. I tried the 10 Year Old, the 15 Year Old and the 10 Year Old Cask Strength. Let’s begin with the standard 10 (the 40% ABV version, there exists a 43% ABV version, but I do not yet have that one). Here goes:

The nose is pretty medicinal and peaty with salt and seaweed, but the sweet touches of fruit (mostly pears and some melon) have the upper hand.

This dram is pretty oily with a salty attack. My first association is fish on a barbecue.

The finish is pretty spicy (red pepper?), but not terribly long. It leaves your mouth dry and clean.

Heavily built, nice body with great balance. The nose is truly wonderful. This is a must have whisky if you love peated expressions, if you keep the price tag in mind.

Maybe my bottling was from a different batch, I found mine a little underwhelming.

@dianal

Disclaimer: This girl is a novice and cannot be held accountable for any ambiguous descriptions.

That being said, I approached this new wonder gingerly and took a sniff. If there were any more smoke I'd be on fire. Hehe. The body was full. I tasted mostly a sweet smoky flavor. My palate suddenly craved chocolate or barbeque meat. If anyone would like to add to my review or give me pointers, feel free : )

Generally older means better (to a point, once you get past 25 years, a lot of whiskies tend to start getting a bit too woody for my taste). But the size of the barrels the whisky are matured in makes a huge difference. The larger the cask, the longer it takes to mature. It's not exactly true that a half sized cask will mature twice as quick, but you do shave a number of years off. So while the Quarter Cask is young, it's actually 'older' (as in more matured due to the time in 'quarter casks) than its years would suggest. Most estimates put the QC as around 8-9 years old, so the QC is probably more matured than the 10!

Personally, my take on the 10 is that it is a little underwhelming for a dram that is supposed to be one of the Islay 'peat monsters' whereas the QC (and the 15) are much more flavourful. Alternatively, maybe I just picked up my bottle from a weak batch... ;)

Personally, I'm the other way around. I prefer the '10' to the Quartercask. I see the QC as more of a marketing 'trick' to get younger whisky on the shelves.

Maybe I just prefer older whisky. Laphroaig 15 is gorgeous imo (havent tried the 18 yr old). Each to their own I guess.

@dXIIIr

This was my third excursion in the world of peated malts. My introduction being the mild Talisker 10y, followed by a sherried/peated BenRiach 12y, this Laphroaig was my first experience with a fullbodied Islay peatbomb.

My expectations with this dram where high - as in it had to be close to the summit of peatiness -, and I must say it didn't disappoint.

Welcome to Peatland. The nose kicks off with loads of peat and iodine covering a slight fruitiness and faint smoke of slightly burned wood. All of this without tingling my nostrils too much 'though, as it has this smooth feel to it.

What can I say? The fullbodied taste can't possibly hide the peat, and I had to search hard for the wood and nuts that accompany it.

After a while, once you get used to the peat, the storm lays down and as a forest that awakens after the rains, this dram opens up its fruitiness and cedarwood aromas. Or maybe someone opened up a bag of winegums?

The aftertaste is kind off dry and maybe even bitter and tends to stick around for a while. Long enough to make it 'till the next sip, that's for sure, but an idiot that keeps those next ones waiting...Please give me more!

Tonight, this is a little slice of heaven! I started my evening with the Black Grouse, then the Lagavulin 1994 Distillers Edition. Now, this Laphroaig 10 year is the best so far. After this glass, I will be opening a new bottle of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. That will be the last of the evening, of course, as it will completely rob my taste buds of all feeling for any other whisky! That, to me, is a good thing by the way. For now, though, I just can't get over the unbelievable combination of smoke, peat and smoothness. Some evenings, I prefer the 10 year to the Quarter Cask. Unfortunately, I cannot find a single bottle of 10 year Cask Strength anywhere in Western Canada. I do feel fortunate, however, that there is an abundance of Quarter cask available. The 10 year is more scarce, and I am thinking of buying a couple more bottles just because I am afraid that soon I may not be able to get any! Cheers, Carl

The laphroaig 10 year old is a good dram, no doubt about it, but when compared to the lagavulin 16, or the ardbeg 10, I find it falls a half-star behind. Mind you, Laphroaig definitely raised the bar with the quartercask - now that is a brilliant peat monster... ;)

@jdcook

The nose is powerful. If you stand or sit still with this glass in your hand, you get constant reminders of it, from a couple of feet away. The peat and smoke is strong, but underlying it is a toffee sweetness balanced by an iodine sea salt savoury-ness. It has a hint of wood too. It's much more complex than the powerful long-range smell would suggest. Not that there is anything wrong with strong peat and smoke, but the subtle balanced smell along with it is genuinely complex and good.

The taste starts light, sweet and fruity, followed by a gentle wash of smoke and nuts, with a hint of iodine and sea salt. It's still very robust and full of character, but it is surprisingly gentle, even civilised.

The gentleness continues with the finish which is long and salty, with more undercurrents of iodine, peat and fruit.

I bought this one several months after the Lagavulin 16 after hearing people rave about it. In my personal opinion, I was looking for a peat monster, and was a little bit disappointed at how gentle it was. I'm looking forward to trying the Laphroaig 10 Year old cask strength to see how that compares.

That said, in a field of very good malts, this more than holds its own.

I like the discussion and I would like to add my opinion. As you can see from my previous comment, I was a little underwhelmed when I first tried the Laphroaig 10. I did a H2H comparison with Ardbeg 10 and I thought at first the Ardbeg was much better due to the higher peat levels and ABV. Nevertheless, with time, the Laphroaig really grew on me. It may have a lower ABV, but when you look beyond the first layer of peat and smoke it is quite complex and I absolutely love that sweet diesel note. It's actually almost fuller than the Ardbeg 10, which behind the peat and smoke displays more fruity and floral notes. Bottom line, i would now put them on the same level!

@drinix - I agree that the Laphroaig grows on you over time, and is a very decent malt, but I still enjoy that initial wave of solid peat and smoke from the Ardbeg and the Lagavulin that draws me in right from the get-go. Whereas it takes a fair amount of a decent-sized nip before I really get into the Laphroaig. So, in a nutshell the second half of all three drams are fairly comparable in terms of enjoyment, the first half I find the Laphroaig is shaded by the other two.

Mind you, if someone offered me some, this is still excellent and I would still be happy to partake!

@Anonymous

See part 1 (bit.ly/2y1KiO)

Along with a bottle Ardbeg 10, I bought this to see if I was ready to step up to the manly challenge of Islay peat. Am I man enough to move beyond "beginners" whisky? Oh, yes I am!

Less acidic and medicinal than the Ardbeg (and that's not a criticism of either), Laphroaig has a more savoury nose, there's more smoke and less balancing sweetness here.

Instead it has a warmer slightly oily depth, like a good oxtail soup. This really is a smooth, rich, warming beast of a whisky.

Less subtle than Ardbeg it none the less has a similarity due no doubt to its Islay heritage.

In a straight shoot out I'd choose the Ardbeg over this but I can see situations where this one might be a preferable dram.

I really want to try the Quarter Cask now. Could I get three new additions into the cabinet in one month without written consent from my wife? We'll see.

I just picked up the Laph QC and the Ardbeg Uigeadail last weekend. I expect there will be some recourse with the wife when the bill comes. The QC is pretty good stuff. I have the Laph 15 but not the 10 so not too sure how it compares. The QC is much bolder all around than the 15. I think both represent Laph pretty well.

I have the same problem with whisky purchases being blocked by my wife. Good luck with it... ;)

@SvenFonteyn

This is it. The smokiest whisky you can get. You can smell the sea in this one. It tastes like smoke smoke and smoke. But it is not to strong so it is tasty. You can not tast another whisky after this one because of the smoky flavour that stays in your mouth. Smoke gets in you eyes...

@hojt

This is just plain enjoyable. It's not extraordinary, but that is problably not what you were aiming for. It is a great everyday whisky, to contrast your regular Lagavulin...

@markas101

Pronounced peat aroma, strong alcohol hit with a lingering smokey burn. First whisky I ever had and got me hooked.

Ahh, I love the 10yo. IMO far superior to th 15yo at least if you really like peat.

@Anonymous

Colour: Orange-Golden, almost maple-syrupy.

Nose: Sea-salt, hints of toast/charcoal, vaguely medicinal/herbal.

Body: Deliciously wet but cohesive.

Palate: Fried bacony peat and envigorating bite of salt at the finish.

Pairings: Food: Avocado and arugula salad with shaved parmigiano-reggiano, pears and pine nuts. Followed by parsley-seasoned bacon cheese burger.

Beer: Anchor Steam liberty ale (credit to D. Wondrich), Rogue Brutal Bitter.

@blrbwmn
@Rich

It's a golden peaty monster of a whisky. Smoky, rich and entirely glorious. Stop reading this and go and buy a bottle.

Well, I was going to do a review on the Laphroaig 10 year, but you seem to have summed up exactly what I would have said! Sometimes, I just don't feel like - or have the ability to - analyse a single malt, and dissect it into all it's smells,flavours, and bodies. At some point I had stated that I preferred the Quarter Cask, but in the past few weeks I am finding that the 10 year is really the one that does the trick for me. It is extremely peaty, but without too much medicinal. The smoke does linger, but not in great amounts. Just enough to make you crave the bit of sweetness that follows it. Not a sherry sweetness, maybe a honey sweetness that just lingers while you roll this luxurious thick spirit around your tongue. The smoothness is something I would expect from an older whisky - say a 12 year like HP12 - and some older ones that I don't find as smooth. I would not want this to be any older, or the peat influence would be gone somewhat. I have not yet tried the Ardbeg 10 year, which many say is the peatiest and smokiest, but maybe one day. For the time being, the 10 year Laphroaig is very hard to get in this part of the world (Western Canada). Fortunately, I have found a liquor store that has some stock, and will be getting three bottles in case the local supply runs out. Cheers, Carl

I was sort of disappointed by this one. For an Islay, it feels surprisingly mild and even flavorless. Laphroaig does a much better job with their other offerings.

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