Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon Charred
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 84.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Laphroaig has been offering this version of its 10 year old cask strength since 2009, with an annual release of which this is the eleventh.
Previously, Cask Strength was produced without age or version declaration, distinguished only by the names Red Stripe (three versions, in 2004, 2005 and 2007) and Green Stripe (also three versions, in 1996, 1998 and 2000).
Interestingly, the ‘green stripe’ is back in this edition, bottled in March 2019 and the last in this series, dedicated to Brand Ambassador in Australia Dan Wooley, who has left the role to open his own distillery.
Dark amber in the glass.
Peat greets the nose as expected, although not as pungent and acrid as one might expect. There’s a deep marine scent of iodine and salt that permeates the nose, overcoming the blanket of ash, on which waves almonds, toasted marshmallows, vanilla, plums, ripe peaches and lemon peel are carried. Medicinal background note.
The liquified used ashtray slips and burns in the mouth (you feel all of the gradation), creating a permanent layer that remains between one sip and the next, over which flow the strongly coastal scents accompanied by pepper, liquorice, cloves, marzipan… the sweetness is almost annihilated by the ashy and maritime power of the whisky, which brings out the spices and the macilent and sulphurous nature of the peat, naked and contemptuous. Here there is no great complexity, no stratification, no intertwining aromas, it’s a linear and cynical dram, almost primordial, stunning.
The finish is very long, of charred seaweed kneaded in salt water, liquorice, lemon.
An incisive, assertive, uncompromising taste that brings out the island and ocean spirit of the whisky, creating an intense, brutal, even difficult, but satisfying experience. A brash whisky.
If you love peat at its most organic and hellish, this whisky is for you.