Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex Bourbon
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Do you remember when Covid-19 was that sort of thing, which, okay, was a bit of a worry, but it was mainly in China and in the end it was little more than a flu?
Eh, those were the days…
In the meantime, in February 2020, when we were still walking around with our big smiles on our faces and spreading our alcoholic breath to everyone we met, Laphroaig bottled its annual cask strength version of the classic 10-year-old, at a very respectable strength.
So let’s take a step back into the recent past, which seems like a geological era ago…
Deep gold in the glass.
Aromas on the nose are full-bodied and powerful, as befits this version, with toasted and medicinal peat in the foreground, punctuated by green apple, pineapple, unripe kiwi, lime and aniseed. A pungent and sour combination that doesn’t lack a softer component of lemon cream and digestive biscuits. Breaths of the sea at times. Over time, the peat part tends to soften, leaving the rest of the aromas to prevail, becoming rounder.
Accentuated by a truly significant (but well integrated) alcohol content, the palate explodes with spices (paprika, nutmeg) and barbecue, with wood sizzling and crackling in a robust and fiery bonfire with a thick blanket of smoke, over which hazelnuts, marshmallows, candied fruit (orange, pineapple) and cola gumdrops are toasted, all sprinkled with plenty of salt. Liquorice and dark chocolate flakes. The medicinal tones are a little lost, while the smoky ones exult.
The finish is long, ashy and salty with hints of liquorice and spice.
As powerful as its predecessors, it shows once again how the basic version is really a pale example of what Laphroaig can do. Excessive and brutal, it leaves little room for subtlety (which is there, btw), but is appreciated for that very reason.