I'm a fan of all things Laphroaig. I don't think that's a secret. For my 200th Connosr review, I felt it appropriate to review this one. Laphroaig 10 is a perennial favourite. I find it to be simultaneously heavy (bold flavour) but not overwhelming, and also high pitched (texture). To my palate, Laphroaig is like a spinto tenor, like say Jonas Kaufman or Luciano Pavarotti; able to reach great heights while not being too dark. I've consumed about half my bottle of Lore and while it shares the same unmistakeable Laphroaig DNA, it's definitely darker and heavier; more of a bass baritone, like say Bryn Terfel or Dmitri Hvorostovsky.
Tasting notes (undiluted from a Glencairn)
- Nose: smoke, peat, brine, leather, orange zest, and a hint of dark fruits (figs or dates), and maybe some black liquorice or anise
- Palate: very rich texture, low pitched, dark chocolate, figs, roasted hazelnuts, cigar ash, iodine (seaweed), and brine
- Finish: long and lingering, seaweed, peat, smoke, ash, black pepper, a touch of cinnamon, more dark chocolate, and a faint if persistent umami note reminiscent of soy sauce
- Final thoughts: despite the 48% abv, this is dangerously easy to drink. I may not like NAS labelling on principle but this whisky is always a treat. It's a shame it's way too pricy in Ontario for a humble schoolteacher to drink regularly.
@OdysseusUnbound big congrats to you on your 200th review! Thank you for quite a lovely review, and which works well in overall tone for me with respect to my own experiences with Laphroaig Lore. I also love that you use the music analogies. I've had 15 plus of my own musical compositions performed and I had never heard of a 'spinto tenor'. Interesting.
For my part, one cannot overstate how wonderful Laphroaig is as a distillery. If you can enjoy the PSB style, then Laphroaig is your bread and butter...the #1 most consistently high quality distillery in the entire world. .
I have never had a single bad taste of any Laphroaig. I cannot say that of any other distillery on earth.
@Victor I remembered the terminology (spinto) from my college days as a voice major, but I had forgotten how passionately people can argue over, well anything really. I couldn't remember if Pavarotti was a lyric or spinto tenor and it seems that the opera community is divided. Ditto for José Carreras. I think opinions of Lore are just as varied as opinions on tenor "classifications".
I've never had a bad Laphroaig either. Select isn't as impressive as the other offerings from Laphroaig, but I think this has more to do with the 40% abv and the perception of NAS as "bad". I won't rehash my objections to NAS labelling here, but Select was one of those whiskies I'm happy to receive as a gift, one that I'd drink if offered, but probably not one I'd buy simply because there's better at the same price point.