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Laphroaig, since 2009, have been churning out a cask strength version of their 10 year old every year. Each edition identifiable by the batch number.
I've pretty much enjoyed each and every one of these releases though Batch 003 is slightly ahead of the pack. This Cask Strength series is also one of the reasons why Laphroaig is on top of my Brilliant Distillery list. If there's anything dependable in the world right now it's that the next release in this series is going to be bloody good.
Just as this one is.
Bottled at a hefty 58% it is closer to the Laphroaig core flavors compared to the other batches. While the others were a touch restrained this one goes all out.
Nose: Immediate soot and ash. Dying embers on a smoldering barbecue that's just seen a plateful of sausages. Cold cuts on the side. Faint seaweed and salty fishing nets bring out the maritime nature of the spirit. Earthy peat mixed with dried tea and cherry sweets. It's a strong captivating nose. Darker and stormier than it's predecessors.
Palate: Remarkably sweet. Figs and raisins. Then some citrus. Oranges, lemons and lime all covered in ash. Brewed black tea. Finally powerful white spices on peat. This is sexy jet fuel.
Finish: Insanely long. All I can think about is lemons. Lots of lemons. Spicy lemons.
So happy Laphroaig is taking the time out to put these spirits together. It makes being disappointed by Ardbeg that much easier.