Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex Bourbon
Additional coloring: Yes
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Let’s stay on Islay, but just because at the beginning it seemed sensible to start with the most famous whiskies (it’s not my fault that so many come from there!).
And let’s celebrate the third post with a photo that is not taken from the net, in which the FoL (Friends of Laphroaig) glass is on display: if you buy a bottle of this distillery, inside the box you’ll find an illustrative booklet, on the last page of which there is a code. From this page of the official website, you can sign up with that code and become a FoL too!
And what do you get for being a FoL? You get a piece of their land, with precise coordinates to find it if you happen to be there, in which case they’ll even offer you a dram.
In addition to all this manna from heaven, you’ll also have access to a points collection (using the codes in the booklets) with which you can choose rich prizes, including (and we’re getting there!) the glass mentioned above. Beware that the collection requires a lot of booklets, so you’ll have to chug quite a few bottles…
You can also get other memorabilia with points, including anoraks, jugs, sweatshirts, all of course with Laphroaig branding. Once upon a time you could also buy a Laphroaig cheese, which was excellent, but it’s been missing for a few years now, so you’ll have to go to Islay to look for it.
But you’re here to drink (or rather, to read about me drinking), so let’s pour this whisky and see what it’s like.
We’re on Islay, and that often means peat: here it’s there, abundant and aggressive, much more so than other brothers on the island.
The nose is flooded with oceanic notes, the kind that have invaded an hospital: indeed, characteristic of Laphoraig is the medicinal, pungent aspect, where the peat is still nicely damp and salty, almost rotten, with a touch of tar. Such an aroma may make many people turn up their noses, even just by reading it, but lovers of peat will be delighted. The alcohol is more pungent than one might expect, especially when compared to other whiskies with higher alcohol content.
On the palate the same impressions can be found, although more mellowed, always with that salty sensation of seaweed, medicinal peat and spices. All this fills the palate, but it loses its bite relatively quickly, perhaps due to the alcohol content being too high (so much so that I much prefer Quarter Cask).
Once the glass is finished, the salty and peaty notes remain persistent, always with that hospital that remains there to try to leave a positive impression the next time you have to go there for real.
Many say that over time this expression has become a pale copy of the original, and you’ll find a number of Laphroaig aficionados will tell you all about it.
Personally, since I can’t make comparisons, I still appreciate its originality, although I agree that it’s a bit overdone: the standard strength kills it a bit, but it’s hard to find so much personality in such a popular and, let’s face it, cheap whisky.
Not for everyone, but if you like it, then you’re (almost) up for anything.