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Laphroaig, 10yo


It is a wide and wonderful whisky world out there and the only way to explore it is one dram at a time. It took me a while to get to Laphroaig (the name means "the beautiful hollow by the broad bay"), a pure monument in the whisky world, and Lagavulin is to blame for this. Lagavulin was my first real peaty whisky, which at that time I found it quite too salty, and I assumed Laphroaig had the same kind of taste. Quite wrong, it seems.

This is the stuff that can polarize whisky drinkers. There are tastings where both men and women absolutely LOVE the stuff, whether new to malt whisky or not. I have also met folks who spend thousands of pounds a year on whisky and swear they would never touch this stuff. Amazing. Interesting. Crazy.

The bottle came with a small booklet, which contained information about the Friends of Laphroaig. There, you can claim your own piece of land (a square foot large) at the distillery, which you can let for the yearly price of a dram of Laphroaig, to be claimed at the distillery.

The smell : smoke, peat a hint of medicine, and pretty much nothing else. For one or other weird reason, my wife finds the smell absolutely revolting.
The taste : as complex as a one-dimensional line. Brutal, and as soft as a punch in the stomach. Smoke and peat all over the place. Oily, a little salt, but quite within the limits. Licorice root, sand, walking along a beach on a misty and rainy November afternoon. Surprisingly elegant, rounded and balanced.

Big, brutal, and excellent. A must-have in every whisky lover's liquor cabinet.

PS : at the shop, I got the chance to taste a 19 yo Laphroaig. Impressive, very sharp and spicy. Quite heavy with its 56% and its 93 euro price tag. But absolutely worth every dime of it.