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This one is sharper than the 003, which I liked better. Still, it's a great bargain and going fast. I've hard tell that Laphroaig might ease off the cask strength bottlings. Then again, that's merely gossip by peat heads, who tend to get paranoid about losing their fix, so to speak.
Well, this bottle is adequate for an inveterate peat head to enchant himself (or herself) with a snort of hand-shoveled smoking barley while dreaming of Islay.
Here are my notes:
Nose: I don't find the TSP as loud in here as the regular ten year. Camphor, chalk, pine resin, crayon wax, dates, vanilla bean, licorice root chew stick, cheap cologne (Jovan musk for men), pork shoulder.
Mouth: Smoke and peat that quickly turn sweet, almost to a sickly extent, but still within the acceptable range for a good Laphroaig offering. Dark chocolate (over 85% cacao), green olives (again), iodine, dried seaweed, smoked monk fish, Listerine mouthwash, TSP, fennel, clove, bitter oak, sage.
Finish: Peat subsides to oak and then turns bitter on the death. Medium long. More bitter and less well rounded than the 003.
Here's what I said about the 003 a year ago. As you can see, the finish was better, warmer and more buttery. The "edge" reminded me more of chickory than this one. This one is slightly acrid. Then again, I just opened the bottle. Oxygen can work wonders. If the whisky changes significantly, I will review it again.
003 Tasting Note Highlights: Aromatic gifts of pine sap, iodine (of course), seaweed, oak, green olives, cloves.
In the mouth, it opens up into crispy bacon, sherry, smoked trout, buttered toast, fireplace ash.
As it trickles down the mid-palate, savory flavors take a turn for the sweeter, transforming themselves mercurially and magically into chocolate, chickory coffee, Rocky Patel robusto cigar wrapper, lemon, vanilla bean, and Ritter Sport wafer.
The finish is long, lush, and multi-various with hints of many of the flavors listed in the palate that flitter across the psychological gulf from the tongue to the brain.