Laphroaig 10 Sherry Oak Finish
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 48%
My Whisky of 2021! Jeff approves!
Region: Islay, Scotland
Age: 10 Year Old
Strength: 48% ABV
Colouring: Believe Not
Chill Filtered: No
Review was based on a sample, which turned into a full bottle.
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In my view, Laphroaig has one of the best marketing strategies out there, including its close cousin Lagavulin with the fuzzy face front of Nick Offerman. Laphroaig has embraced the harsh yet poetic descriptions that describe their unique liquid and wielded it as their own strength. The “honest & unscripted” Opinions Welcome videos that fling notes of “chemical marshmallows”, “sweaty men” and “burning nickers” all add to the allure of this creature of a Whisky.
Anyway, enough quotes, the branding itself is clean, simple and heritage filled. The bottle is basic and on brand. For the Laphroaig 10 Year Old Sherry Oak Finish, the juice itself is deep amber in colour, leaning towards burgundy. Following a live tasting with one of the distillery representatives, I can report it is “most likely natural colour”. If you can confirm or deny do let me know on an Islay based postcode.
Lately, I have been suffering a little bit of peat blindness so for a few weeks, took a step back from smoke-filled drams (and Whisky in general) only to be smashed in with this beast.
The first sniff is subtle smoke, which then comes back and gives a big medicinal smoke slap up the snout. It is a wonderful balance of sweetness and smoke, making it almost aromatic with a heavy dash of honey kicking around. There is a bit of crunchy seaweed fresh from the Chinese but not as salty as expected.
Now, a very specific aroma is very reminiscent of Cranberry, smokey bacon and brie paninis. Maybe a bit of a posh choice, but would 100% recommend trying it at your local garden centre of sarnie van.
From drinking this, every note I made was relating to food. Either I am hungry (always) or this is a meal in a glass. The first one was that it tasted like a wonderful hybrid of sticky burnt barbecue and Chinese pork spare ribs. The mixture of savoury meat and maple syrup-like sweetness is a wonderful mix.
Lots of complex flavours and thoughts fly out with each sip, striking different memories and experiences. Burning tires from carpark doughnuts. Pineapples becoming cremated when trying to impress at a bbq. The taste of fresh jams liked from an old rusty spoon. A real story on the tongue this one.
The finish is wonderfully warming with syrup, spice and dare I say everything nice.
Value for money is a hard score to pin down on this bottle. Sitting at £60, this mildly lofty price for a 10 year old expression should be looking at low marks by that standard, but it is so much more than a standard 10 with a twist. This is a great dram and a fair price. Even better at a very tempting £53 on the Pour & Sip Members store.
This possibly has been the greatest sample from my Pour & Sip subscription and would 100% recommend checking them out. I got a referral link which takes £10 off the first box (can cancel after) where you get 2 Glencairn glasses and 5 samples for £19! Give it a pop with this link and let me know if you have any issues: https://prz.io/kPQebgpTB. I also get points for each referral which can go towards discounts on their member’s shop. Nice.
Verdict: Burnout at a Jam tasting
These reviews are done solely for entertainment and reference purposes. I am not a writer, just someone who wants to blab on about booze so please excuse the many spelling and grammatical mistakes.
While I try to ensure all information is accurate do let me know if you see any mistakes.