I'm sitting here waiting for my new BBQ to be delivered, so hey let's review Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength, and try it side-by-side with the standard 10 Year Old. This Cask Strength bottle is from Batch 007 and was bottled in January 2015. This bottle has been open probably for about a year.
The colour is a golden yellow. The nose has those classic Laphroaig elements: wet campfire, iodine, citrus and seaweed. Linoleum. Plastic-y vinyl. Only slightly herbaceous. Very briny. With a drop of water, the malt comes through, surrounded by lemon and raspberries. I love this.
On the palate we have lots of mouth-drying alcohol, with more citrus, toasted oak, sourdough and vanilla. Light caramel. Lots of prickly peat, obviously...but behind that is a lot of complexity and subtlety. Once you get past the alcohol there is a very creamy mouthfeel. Water increases the smoke, spice and creaminess. This is everything I love about scotch.
The wow finish has more peat smoke, lemon curd, smoked paprika and cayenne, followed by pine and prosciutto toward the end. Of course, we all understand that reviewing whisky (like anything) is completely subjective, and so your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for high ABV and shovelfuls of peat. But I adore this and wish I had a case (alas, this is the last dram from my bottle). The label says "We recommend that you add twice as much water as whisky to fully appreciate the taste characteristics...." Wow, that's a lot of water! That would bring the ABV down to 18.8% which, I'm sorry, I am not doing, no no no. Interestingly, the standard 10 Year Old (43% ABV) is slightly darker in colour (due to caramel colouring?); otherwise all the other notes are simply the same but dialled down a couple of notches - which makes sense as the CS is simply undiluted standard 10 Year Old. Anyway, I love them both so much. Also, my BBQ still hasn't arrived.