For my sixth review, I will be showcasing the three whiskies that I tried during the premium tasting session as well as the three whiskies which I sampled at the distillery store. The whiskies are as follows:
Premium Tasting session:
1) Laphroaig 10 Years Old (40% abv, paired with Danish blue cheese)
2) Laphroaig Quarter Cask (48% abv, paired with an orange slice)
3) Laphroaig 18 Years Old (48% abv, paired with chocolate covered espresso beans)
Distillery store samples:
1) Laphroaig 10 Years Old Cask Strength Batch 006 (58% abv)
2) Laphroaig Triple Wood (48% abv)
3) Laphroaig PX Cask (48% abv)
Laphroaig 10 Years Old (40% abv)
Nose: Salty, briny goodness intermingled with a blast of peat. Coastal notes of seaweed and iodine followed by a slight vanilla sweetness. TCP and tar. Spicy with hints of black pepper and citrus.
Palate: Quite true to the nose! The peat blast and brine overwhelm the senses momentarily before subsiding to allow for the other nuances to filter through. Seaweed, iodine and antiseptic follow in the next wave before the hints of vanilla and citrus make an appearance. A trio of Parmesan, Roquefort and Manchego follow through before giving way to cracked black pepper. Oily mouthfeel.
Finish: Long, smoky and lingering. The quintessential polarising malt. You will either love it to bits or hate its guts. I’m very much in the former camp!
Laphroaig Quarter Cask (48% abv)
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Salted butter with a hint of peat smoke. Sweet toffee and vanilla notes intermingled with some lemon zest and walnuts. Baking soda.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet with initially just a hint of smoke which gradually intensifies. TCP and cayenne up next with some barley sugar and salted caramel. Quite savoury and oily.
Finish: Medium length with more lemony notes. Very satisfying and enjoyable dram.
Laphroaig 18 Years Old (48% abv)
Nose: Briny notes with sophisticated peat. Salted butter, freshly ground espresso, dark cocoa and surprisingly, banana. The grown up version of the 10 Years Old expression.
Palate: Thick and rich, with more salted buttery notes and restrained peat slowly giving way to some aniseed and cinnamon. Sweetness then comes to the fore with some honey and barley sugar before dark chocolate takes over.
Finish: Lingering with some citrus and more salted butter and pitted olives. My second favourite expression from the distillery!
Laphroaig 10 Years Old Cask Strength Batch 006 (58% abv)
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Sweet peat intermingled with some sea salt. Chocolate coins, molasses and just a hint of TCP. Some nuttiness and spice. Nutmeg.
Palate: Woah! The difference between the weaker strength version and this is quite pronounced! Restrained smoky peat with some barley sugar and milk chocolate. Tobacco pouch. Orange zest. Cinnamon and cracked white pepper intermingled with some honey. Salted caramel and some TCP.
Finish: Dry, yet mouthwateringly good. Medium to long finish with hints of salted caramel and smoke. Very interesting dram.
Laphroaig Triple Wood (48% abv)
Nose: Roasted chestnuts with sweet peat and demerara sugar. Buttery toffee with red fruits, almonds and orange zest. Sherry influence definitely noticeable. Vanilla and some molasses.
Palate: Drying, some TCP but generally masked by the sherried sweetness. Savoury butter, Christmas cake and glazed cherries intermingled with smoky peat. Nutmeg and cinnamon.
Finish: Long finish. Oaky, raisiny goodness with more restrained peat smoke and warming nutmeg and cinnamon. Bloody good stuff.
Laphroaig PX Cask (48% abv)
Colour: Reddish sunset
Nose: Characteristic peat smoke intermingled with sweet sherry goodness! Salted caramel, vanilla and blackcurrants apparent on the nose, with hints of fudge and nutmeg. Just a hint of iodine.
Palate: Initially smoky and spicy before the sherry takes over. Sweet and spicy in equal measure with raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and blackcurrants trading punches on the palate. The smokiness gradually regains control and intensifies into a warm tingling sensation, with just a hint of salted caramel towards the end.
Finish: Long, lingering finish with the smoke, spice and salt combining beautifully to provide a memorable end to a truly enjoyable whisky. Definitely my favourite whisky from the distillery!