Sunday, 8 January 2012

Rediscovering The Classics: Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Gin cocktails at Evil Eye
Tonight's review is of an absolute classic. This whisky is self-defining, iconic and unique. What I like most about this whisky is that it gives me a feeling that can only be given by a few things. I get the feeling every time I travel to York. I love York; it has the perfect combination of historic architecture, excellent pubs and nostalgic value. It is like the feeling of coming home when I get Bangers and Mash at the Lendal Cellars or a pint of Yorkshire Terrier at the... er... Yorkshire Terrier. A trip to Jorvic and the Cathedral before a cocktail at Evil Eye Lounge and a browse of the beer selection at The Bottle on Stonegate makes for a very happy Angus.

I get the same feeling everytime I climb the Berwin hills behind Llanrhaeadr Waterfall back home. The spray off the falls and the rugged terrain are reminiscent of a time before man etched his face on the Earth. Like York there is a feeling that everywhere should be like this and everything will be alright. It is a feeling that in unclouded by worry or unnecessary detail, a feeling about enjoying the moment.

Tonight's whisky is the unapologetic Laphroaig 10 Year Old. Every time I drink this whisky I am filled with a feeling of calm. Laphroaig isn't a whisky trying hard to impress, it is a whisky that forces the drinker to come to it on its own terms. Its Marmite attitude can make it unapproachable for some drinkers but as soon as you come to terms with its balls-out confidence it becomes the most rewarding of all whiskies. I think it is unarguable to say that Laphroaig is a whisky hero. When I drink it I don't worry about how it is made. I don't care about cask selection or the slightly troubling small print 'mit Farbstoff' (with colouring). I couldn't give a damn about ABV or PPM, when I drink the Laphroaig 10 it is about coming home to what whisky is really about - the greatest drink on the planet. So without any further ado here's my tasting note to add to the legions of others shouting its praise. Slainte!

Laphroaig 10 Year Old
40% - Distillery Bottled
Nose: An island harbour protected behind the stormwall; the sea laps at a peaty shoreline. Amongst this intense maritime character there is a sweet citric character that plays with the earthy peat.
Palate: Peat bog followed with peat smoke. There is a marshmallow sweetness and a nutty undercurrent that provides flavour beyond simple peat notes.
Finish: Almost beer like with hops and gentle smoke. Lastly there is a fire that remains in the belly seething like Smurg on his treasure.
Overall: Such a characterful nose followed by a playful palate. The finish has the fire all good whiskies have burning underneath. The Laphroaig 10 is a masterclass in character development. Time for a second glass!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Angus,

    Yeah, very nice whisky indeed. Although I feel the Ardbeg 10 Years is even better! Have you tried that one?
    Saude and have a nice weekend!
    By the way, would you mind if i would put a link to your page on mine?