Laphroaig is one of eight distilleries on the Isle of Islay, and is nestled on the south side of the island, near Port Ellen.
It has a lot to live up to, coming from one of the most well known Whisky making islands and surrounded by seven other highly successful distilleries.
And not only does it do this, but it also sets its own standard for Islay malts.
Laphroaig has been a working distillery for just over 200 years, having been built in 1815, although rumour has it that it was functioning secretly before this, in 1810.
Today they are one of the best-known malts around, especially with those who love peat. They have a strong core range, with malts ranging from 10 to 25 years old, as well as a good selection of limited editions and explorations in finishes.
Their Cask Strength 10 Year Old has proved to be very popular and has won an astounding amount of awards since it was first released in 2001.
It is now released annually and in small batches. This year’s release is the ninth batch.
On the nose, it is full of seaside air, with lots of salt and brine. There is a lovely sense of being down on the rugged shore in front of the distillery, while the tide comes in.
The sea side flavours are complemented with a slightly medicinal iodine note, that gives a lovely depth to the dram.
The palette is similar, with lots of big sea side flavours. The salt and brine mix with the oak wood of the barrel to create a wet, wooded flavour.
There is also a lively note of citrus fruits, particularly lemon and lime. This gives a refreshing edge to the dram.
The peat really comes through here as well. It has a gentleness to it that is complemented perfectly by the citrus fruits. The seaside flavours are also ideal with the peat and the earthiness of the peat smoke is soft and drying against the salt and oil.
This dram has a long finish, with lots more peat and sweet oak to it. It lingers just long enough and has one final kick of smoke to say goodvye.
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