Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #178

Laphroaig 10yo
Islay Single Malt Whisky

40% abv


An absolutely classic malt whisky, and it only took 177 Malt Missions to get to it! I have said it before and I will say it again: it is a wide and wonderful whisky world out there and the only way to explore it is one dram at a time.

This is the stuff that can polarise whisky drinkers. I have held 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. So memorable is Laphroaig that it is famously mispronounced in over 100 different countries with both joy and disdain. Certainly not for everyone.

Prince Charles loves the stuff and many thought he had already had a few when he overshot the runway on a visit to the distillery on Islay in 1994. It was the first (Scottish) whisky I had on Scottish shores over 5 years ago and the only one to be legally imported into the US during prohibition. We will be having 3 Laphroaigs this week on the mission starting, where it must, with the 10 year old.

Sad, too, cuz the 10yo brings up a whole issue I don't want to get into today, but in Canada this product has been discontinued leaving many loyal customers without their drop of choice. I will probably rant on this issue a bit tomorrow.

For more distillery info and to see other Laphroaig's tasted on the mission, click HERE.


A peaty medicinal veil, but you can sense more behind it. Oil paints, prawn crackers, cakey sweetness, seaweed and horse stables. Melon and ash, bubblegum sweetness and iodine.

Malty, and yes, peaty. Great oily feel and taste. Licorice root, sand, walking along a beach. Weighty, if that makes sense. Long finish of creamy vanilla wrapped up in dry horse shit, oak and smoke.


Ho ho ho, Green Giant. Big and bold, but elegant in its balance and mouthfeel. Outdoorsy and rural, with all the medicinal and peaty notes upon which it has earned its reputation. Not something I could drink everyday, but when you have that craving, only one dram will cure it. A must-have on the shelf.

Malt Mission #176
Malt Mission #177
Malt Mission #179
Malt Mission #180

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Anonymous said...

Is Laphroaig the peatiest whisky around? I gather that Bruichladdich will release something called Octomore that will be the peat monster of all peat monsters, but Laphroaig must be up there with the big guys, surely?

Dr. Whisky said...

According to Misako Udo's The Scottish Whisky Distilleries, peated Islay whiskies go like this (phenolic content of the malted barley in ppm):
Bowmore 20-25
Caol Ila 30-35
Lagavulin 35-40
Bunnahabhain (peated make) 38
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte(PC) 40
Laphroaig 40-43
Ardbeg 50-54
Bruichladdich Octomore 80-129(!!!)

Additionally, if you venture beyond Islay for your peat fix:
Ardmore (peated make) 10-15
BenRiach (peated make) 10-15
Talisker 25-30
Brora (1969-83) 40
Edradour Ballechin 50
Springbank Longrow 55

Hope that helps, anonymous peat freak...

Anonymous said...

Cheers, very helpful indeed. Never had Ardbeg... yet.

- Red Hare (anonymous no more ;) )

Anonymous said...

That video is really good, great find!

Oh, and I've got Octomore Futures, will be interesting to see how it compares to the Laphroaig (where I've switched to the Quarter Cask, I think even better than the regular).

Dr. Whisky said...

Cheers. Made that video with a mate earlier this year. Glad you enjoyed it! We had a hilarious afternoon...

Anonymous said...

"wrapped up in dry horse shit..."

I'm not sure my palate knows that taste.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing. I just took part in a private Whisky tasting in Edinburgh last weekend and the first whiff of it almost knocked me out of my shoes. But a day later at the hotel bar, I thought I'd give it another try and I liked it. Have ordered it twice since. Heh, and now I came back to Germany, open the newspaper and what do I see? The announcement of a dedicated Laphroaig tasting in Hamburg, along with the chance to win some tickets for it. Now keeping my fingers crossed....

Geraldo Fonseca said...

Granted you bear in mind that my spirit budget is probably the lowest amongst everyone here, I'd like to say that this is my favorite scotch.

Therefore it was really surprising having it compared to "... vanilla wrapped up in dry horse shit".

But even more amazing is realizing that... it makes sense.

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.