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Laphroaig 10 YO Sherry Oak Finish

Sherry and peat, best served neat

3 088

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

20th Feb 2022


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I felt like doing a review today. Seeing @fiddich1980 mention this on the So, what are you drinking now? thread helped me to decide which of the many open bottles and samples to choose from. We had heard rumours of this one coming to the LCBO and it was expected to sell out quickly. I was delightfully surprised when he mentioned he had picked a few up on December 1, and asked if I would like one. FOMO reared its head and I said yes. He delivered it the same day and I tried it the same day according to my records. And yes, it is no longer available here in Ontario.

The packaging states that this release was aged 10 years, but it does not state how long the spirit was finished in Olorosso Sherry casks. Bottled at 48%, it would be nice, but is not essential, to know whether this was chill filtered. I believe I have tasted it once more since I opened it, in mid-January. I usually gas after each opening but I had this bottle in a different room than my main cabinet and I may not have gassed it right away. Regardless, when I poured this the fill level was still within the neck so I doubt there has been much oxygenation.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, today in a Glencairn, 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.

I rarely comment about colour, especially in a whisky that does not clearly state that no colour has been added, but this one pours such a rich dark hue that it makes me think the finishing casks were really wet.

Nose: 22.5/25

Sweet peat. The sherry is prominent here with dried fruits, some stewed fruits. In contrast the peat is dry, dusty. Faint hint of cured meat, or maybe cured salmon. It’s a rich, layered nose.

Water brings the fruit out more, and the smoke is a little more tame. The peat becomes a tad less complex as it is hidden. (22/25)

Taste: 21.5/25

First sip I feel as if I licked an ash tray (not in a bad way). The sherry imparts a sweetness, but the peat is the main element here. From the nose and the taste I would expect a thick oily mouthfeel. The oiliness is there but it’s a little thin.

With water the first sip is more spirity, spicier. I get more of the typical medicinal peat of Laphroaig, some iodine. A little less sweet. I think I prefer this one neat. (20.5/25)

Finish: 22/25

Astringent, peppery, peaty. Remember cartoons where a dragon breaths fire and then a puff of smoke comes out at the end? That’s how I feel breathing out - that puff of smoke.

With water there is some iodine on the finish, but otherwise it is a similar, very much Laphroaig, finish.

Balance: 22/25

In the context that this is meant to be a peat-forward dram, it is balanced. The nose and the palate compliment each other nicely. I think water upsets the balance a bit. (21/25)

Score: Neat - 88/100 With Water: 85.5/100

I liked this the first time I tried it. The second, my palate may not have been in the mood. But tonight this has convinced me that this is a solid dram. I think I will enjoy it for some time to come.

Do I have FORO? Perhaps. It’s too late to get more. But then I remind myself of my predicament: I don’t have enough of any one expression to last a lifetime but I have more whisky than I can ever drink. This is a great Laphroaig, but if I want peat and sherry I also have a few other options, like Laimrig and Uigeadail. I will enjoy this one to the end, and may be saddened when the last dram is gone, but I will have plenty to keep me happy.

Thanks again @fiddich1980 for getting this into my cabinet.

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