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.
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.
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.
Quite long. Mostly pepper and ash. No real change with water.
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…
I would say that is a very fair score and your usual thoughtful review. Incidentally, lately I have been mixing 10 year old and QC half and half. They go very well with each other. The QC adds some complexity and intensity to the 10 and the 10 knocks of some of the overly sweet palate of the QC (a characteristic that later versions of the QC seems to have acquired).
Nice review, you scored this pretty well considering your preference for the cask strength.
I believe it's a testament to intensity of the Laphroaig character that it still holds up quite well at low strength.