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Let's do another head-to-head tasting with two Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength, one bottled in 2009, the other in 2010. Since February 2009, Laphroaig adorns it's labels with batch numbers. We are tasting batches 001 and 002 head to head. While they have the same color, the ABV is somewhat different. Batch 001 has an ABV of 57,8%, while batch 002 has an acoloholpercentage of 58;3%.
Batch 001 immediately submerges your nose in smoky ashes, only to reveal wonderfully fruity notes and caramel after a few moment. Batch 002 is somewhat softer and more fruity with vanilla and a hint of Italian coffee. I prefer the nose of batch 001.
Batch 001 starts of nicely sweet with citrus and licquorice on the palate, but soon salt and pepper take over. Quite a bit of peat, as one might expect from Laphroaig. Batch 002 is sweeter and less dry. Licquorice, coffee, vanilla and smoked ham with pepper. Great stuff. I prefer batch 002.
The finish on batch 001 is smoky, salty and lingering. Batch 002 is lingering also, but is more peppery and has a sweet undercurrent going for it. Both show medicinal traits.
While both drams are palatable without dilution, I find they are even better with a few - but only a few! - drops of water. Especially batch 002 profits from it. I found this one to be slightly better than its predecessor. I'm very much looking forward to batch 003, which shouldn't be long.
Batch 001: 87/100 Batch 002: 89/100