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Gillman
12-03-2005, 16:12
I tried this in a charming pub, Running Footman, Charles Street, Mayfair (just off Berkeley Square).

In Canada as an import it never tastes quite right to me, very phenolic, edgy and heavy.

Here, the same bottle seemed completely different - soft, rich, smoky to be sure (from the peated malt) but very balanced, very much an analogue to, say, Rock Hill Farms or Elmer T. Lee in its fulsome smokiness and sweetness.

I may pick this up at duty free, I am hoping that recent bottlings are aiming for this palate.

One of the things I find about whisky is it can change literally from bottle to bottle. Then too at certain times the batches come out particularly well and uniform-tasting; I am hoping this is the case with this whisky at the moment.

Gary

Bob
12-03-2005, 17:28
This is one hell of a good SMS!

AVB
12-03-2005, 20:14
I've fallen in love with the new Quarter Cask Laphroaig, you need to give that a try.

kbuzbee
12-05-2005, 05:55
Gary, I've mentioned this elsewhere but Laphroaig 10 is one of my favorites. As you describe it has a great mouth feel, full rich, amazingly smokey and peaty but it does have that sea taste/smell as well. Salt, iodine. I spent many years working offshore and the sensory assault of Laphroaig takes me back to those days with every pour. I have a bottle of the Quarter Cask I bought in Scotland last spring. Have to pop that one some day soon.

I've read that Laphroaig was the only Scotch imported during prohibition because they deemed anything this (strong, potent, BAD???) just HAD to be medicinal. Too funnny!

Ken

CrispyCritter
12-05-2005, 14:17
The Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength version (57.6%) is a treat. I've skipped the standard 10yo version based on reviews I've seen elsewhere; some say that the current standard version isn't quite up to older bottlings, but the CS makes up for it. Since I'm a relative newcomer to whisk(e)y, I can't really say so on a first-hand basis, but the CS is good stuff in any case.

The Quarter Cask is also outstanding - you can't go wrong with either it or the CS (provided you like Laphroaig in the first place).

Frodo
12-17-2005, 04:51
Tried as I might, I can't get into this one. I like other "peat monsters" like Ardbeg 10, and Lagavulin 16 but this one just doesn't do it for me.

chasking
12-17-2005, 06:41
Tried as I might, I can't get into this one. I like other "peat monsters" like Ardbeg 10, and Lagavulin 16 but this one just doesn't do it for me.



Peat and geography are the ONLY things those whiskeys have in common. Otherwise, they are very different. Laphroaig in particular is like nothing else on Earth, much less the island of Islay.

Don't feel bad if you don't like Laphroaig. It's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it dram. The people who love it are just more vocal than the others.

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-17-2005, 06:56
Hi Frodo,
That is interesting, I am just now having my first pour of this whisky in quite a long while and it is doing the trick for me. Yesterday I got out a bunch of bottles of Scottish and Japanese malts that have a smoky note to them. I had just opened a bottle of Ardbeg 17 yo and found it disappointing the night before. Not bad, but... There is a certain threshold of peatsmoke that a whisky must either be above or under for me to like it. Takatsuru 12 yo, Nikka's Yoichi 10, another Nikka 70th anniversary malt were under or right at the lower limit. Yoichi 10 yo cask strength was just over the upper limit. The higher abv of that last helped a little, too. Talisker 10 yo was in the just at the lower limit. Its pepperiness helped out there. The Ardbeg 17 and, to a lesser extent, the Laphrioag 15 that I sampled are in the no man's land of too much peat and/or too little peat to satisfy me. Last night the Ardbeg 10 yo won the laurels. The kind of peatreek that makes you sit in your chair, glass in hand and sigh, savoring the finish of a fine whisky. However, tonight's pour of Laphroaig 10 yo is eclipsing last night's Ardbeg 10 yo. I will allow it a round in the ring now and see how it fairs tonight.

Nosing the Ardbeg 10 just now and it smells malty without much peat. Seems that my peat receptors are saturated. Now a little more peat, time for a sip. No disappointment, but the Laphroaig seems to be the winner, at least tonight.
Ed

Gillman
12-17-2005, 07:13
I am sort of a Laphroig 10 "expert" by virtue of buying recently in England a three pack which combined the 15 year old, regular 10 year old, and 10 year old cask strength Laphroig. The regular 10 is 43% abv. In an English pub, I had had a 40% version. Therefore, I've had them all I believe except for the new Quarter Cask version.

My conclusion is, Laphroig is as Chuck says quite unique in taste even for Islay. I think too the classic taste is at 10 years old. The 15 is good but is not Laphroig as most of us know it. The big phenolic notes start to fade out at that age and the malty and barrel notes come more to the fore.

The cask strength 10 year old is very good but I can't sip it at that strength. Even the regular 10 year old seemed a bit sharp. Try as I could with water, I couldn't get these to taste as good as the regular 40% domestic version sold in England. I believe that the water and precise measurement used at the distillery results in the perfect balance of this drink at 40%. If I could vat all three of my Laphroigs and adjust it exactly to 40% that's what I'd do.

It is a classic drink of scotch whisky to be sure and each has his preferences but to me it's perfect at 40% abv and not too old (my proposed vatting would still qualify it as 10 years old of course).

Gary

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-17-2005, 07:22
The bottle I have now is 43% abv. I have wanted to try the Cask Strength for a long time, but I haven't wanted to pay almost double the price of the 43% version.

It is funny, but I haven't wanted a smoky peatmonster for a long while. The whole of the summer months malt whisky, peated malt whisky in particular, held little or no appeal. Now that winter is here it tastes mighty fine.
Ed

Gillman
12-17-2005, 07:30
That Arbeg 17, Ed, wasn't that one of the less-peated versions of Ardbeg? That is whisky (Ardbeg 10 year old and older expressions) that I much admire. The ten year old Ardbeg has an interesting "lemon sherbet" quality, it is peaty (more simply smoky I'd say, or non-marine peaty) but on top of that it has good complexity from the estery notes I'm mentioning but Laphroig is more the big peated-marine statement: Clapton vs. Townshend on guitar, maybe (when Pete played loud).

Gary

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-17-2005, 07:58
That Ardbeg 17, Ed, wasn't that one of the less-peated versions of Ardbeg?


I couldn't tell you. I just don't know. I had assumed that the peatreek I so enjoy had been aged out of it.

Lemon Sherbet is not something I have ever noticed in Ardbeg 10. Let me pour a tablespoon or so of it...

Nosing the glass I thought, "Hmm... Lemon Sherbet, how could I have missed it before. Sip. Now it is gone and I can't find it again, no it is back again. No lemon sherbet in the Laphroaig at all." Interesting night.
Ed

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-17-2005, 07:59
Oh, I am not getting any guitar notes at all....
Ed http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Gillman
12-17-2005, 08:22
I guess the ultimate guitar analogies would be known if Dave's bruited SB band is ever put together. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Then the band could play its version of what Blanton tastes like, Stagg (a heavy metal tune for that one), and so on. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

A lot of people have analogised music to the taste of whiskies, once in Whisky Magazine they did that. It's impressionistic to be sure, but there is a ring of truth in it to those who know the whiskey and music being compared.

Gary

kbuzbee
12-17-2005, 12:04
It is funny, but I haven't wanted a smoky peatmonster for a long while. The whole of the summer months malt whisky, peated malt whisky in particular, held little or no appeal. Now that winter is here it tastes mighty fine.
Ed



I agree, snow laying all about, Laphroaig is a wonderful pour.

Ken

Frodo
12-18-2005, 02:13
The 17yr Ardbeg is supposed to be a vatting of lightly-peated ardbeg distilled during the time when the distillery was only making the odd production run for blenders. So not only is it less peated then the usual Adbeg that we know and love, but its also chill-filtered unlike most other expressions from the distillery. Makes for a much milder whisky, no?

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-18-2005, 06:16
Frodo Said,


Makes for a much milder whisky, no?


Yup. Nice though. I was initially disappointed, but tonight I had a glass and was enchanted. Perhaps I will understand the 10 yo better for having had this bottle.
Ed

chasking
12-19-2005, 13:13
From what I hear, Ardbeg 17yo is not to be found anymore. (The Ardbeg representative at WhiskeyFest told me that, when I said I had a bottle at home.) If it's not a real favorite, just keep it; one day it will be a real trophy.

By the way, you Laphroaig fans might be interested to know that the current incarnation of Signatory Vintage Islay is in fact a five-year-old Laphroaig. I had a taste at an in-store promotion a while back and the Laphroaig character was unmistakeable. And, Gary, it's bottled at 80 proof.

"Signatory Vintage Islay" is a single malt but the source distillery is not identified on the bottle, although it's no big secret. It sells for about $20 a bottle around here. The Islay version is bottled at 5 years. For a long time it was Lagavulin, but a year or so ago they switched to Laphroaig. They had a cask strength version of the Lagavulin, which was really quite the bargain. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

Gillman
12-19-2005, 15:10
Thanks, Chuck, a funny twist is I just saw that the regular 10 year old Laphroig is available at 40% ABV at the Ontario LCBO. That's the one I wanted to begin with. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Instead I bought the 3-pack in London (for more money than the Ontario fifth would have cost) which was a 10 year old at 43%, a 15 year old at ditto, and a CS Laphroig. But it's all good whisky. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Gary

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-19-2005, 18:24
Hi Chasking,
I heard that, too, but they people who told me also told me that there was some available again. Something about some backstock being returned from Italy where it wasn't selling. Anyway, I don't collect, I drink, and the bottle is open so not worth keeping long term now anyway. My second pour went dowm much better, I wasn't expecting it to be 10 years old anymore. Gary's comment on the Lemon Sherbet opened my eyes to that side of Ardbeg and I understood the 17 better.

Hmm. I bought the only bottle on the shelf, but if I see another one at the same price I might pick it up to keep for a future trade.
Ed

TimmyBoston
07-05-2006, 02:45
I am a huge fan of all the Islay malts and Laphroiag was my first of the bunch. It's great stuff. I haven't been able to try the quarter cask yet, but I have a bottle of the 10 and CS I'm a huge fan of both The CS is drier but they're both great, I hightly reccommend both. Laphroaig is very medicianl and for many its either love it or hate it. I love it.

DrinkyBanjo
07-05-2006, 05:32
The Quarter Cask is exceptional as well. If you like the 10 and CS you'll enjoy the QC.

TimmyBoston
07-06-2006, 00:30
I've heard the QC is much, much oakier than either the 10 or CS. What do you think?

CrispyCritter
07-07-2006, 21:00
I have only had the 10 CS, 15, and QC.

The QC and 10 CS have very strong similarities in nose and taste - but the 10 CS is 57% ABV, while the QC is 48%. That being said, you can't go wrong with either, as long as you like peaty Islays.

My take on the QC is that it's a very successful experiment - putting some young Laphroaig into the small casks did a great job of accelerating the aging process. From what I've found, QC is about 6yo.

The 15yo is mellower - instead of whacking you upside the head with a mailed fist of peat, it's more of a velvet glove instead. ;) If you don't care for peat monsters, but still want some peat, the 15yo is an excellent choice. Malt, wood, and peat all come together into a finely balanced package.

kbuzbee
07-21-2006, 05:40
Okay so last night lined up 1/4 cask, Cask Strength and 10yo.... About 2 oz of each in Cask Aged Spirirts glasses...

The basic 10yo held up wonderfully well against these two "specialty" products.... The nose is true and gives every indication of the force the palate will bring. With each sip you can hear the waves crashing on the Scotish shore, the call of the seagulls and the salty - sea smell.... To say the 10 yo is leggy doesn't quite get it. It just clings to the side of the glass.

The 1/4 cask was also wonderful but seemed a bit muted compared to the 10 yo..... You get a bit more wood which I found detracted a bit from the personality.

Now the Cask Strength.... Wow, what can you say? I expected it to be the same (but "more"!?!) as the 10 yo.... But since the 10 yo is one of the most intense things I've ever tasted, that was an expectation I really couldn't visualize..... Well, it was also accurate. The CS is simply "more". More nose, more viscous, more sea, more salt, more iodine, more smoke, MORE PEAT! It was how I often envision most people initially find the Laphroaig 10 yo. I didn't. I loved it immediately....

I'm going to have to spend some time with this one.... It may be TOO much (hard for me to fathom but maybe) but I'm willing to spend the time with it to find out:grin: I MAY come to love the CS.

Ken

Edward_call_me_Ed
07-24-2006, 04:30
Okay so last night lined up 1/4 cask, Cask Strength and 10yo.... About 2 oz of each in Cask Aged Spirirts glasses...

The basic 10yo held up wonderfully well against these two "specialty" products.... The nose is true and gives every indication of the force the palate will bring. With each sip you can hear the waves crashing on the Scotish shore, the call of the seagulls and the salty - sea smell.... To say the 10 yo is leggy doesn't quite get it. It just clings to the side of the glass.

The 1/4 cask was also wonderful but seemed a bit muted compared to the 10 yo..... You get a bit more wood which I found detracted a bit from the personality.

Now the Cask Strength.... Wow, what can you say? I expected it to be the same (but "more"!?!) as the 10 yo.... But since the 10 yo is one of the most intense things I've ever tasted, that was an expectation I really couldn't visualize..... Well, it was also accurate. The CS is simply "more". More nose, more viscous, more sea, more salt, more iodine, more smoke, MORE PEAT! It was how I often envision most people initially find the Laphroaig 10 yo. I didn't. I loved it immediately....

I'm going to have to spend some time with this one.... It may be TOO much (hard for me to fathom but maybe) but I'm willing to spend the time with it to find out:grin: I MAY come to love the CS.

Ken

Have you spent any time with the CS yet?
Ed

kbuzbee
07-24-2006, 07:27
Not yet, Ed... It may be a while.... Been hanging out in Wild Turkey-ville since that night. I'll probably return to the sea within the next week or so:grin: ... I'll let you know.

Ken

kbuzbee
08-01-2006, 05:27
Have you spent any time with the CS yet?
Ed

So, Ed.... Last couple evenings have been spent with the CS.... We've become fast friends and I am socking a few away for this winter. Laphroaig is one of my favorite drinks in the late Autumn through snow season (oh, yeah, I forgot.... Global warming... There won't be any snow this year:slappin:) Well, anyway, the CS is quite wonderful and a true expression of what Laphroaig is all about... I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't just LOVE the standard 10yo but if you do...... This malt's for you!

Ken

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-01-2006, 08:00
So, Ed.... Last couple evenings have been spent with the CS.... We've become fast friends and I am socking a few away for this winter. Laphroaig is one of my favorite drinks in the late Autumn through snow season (oh, yeah, I forgot.... Global warming... There won't be any snow this year:slappin:) Well, anyway, the CS is quite wonderful and a true expression of what Laphroaig is all about... I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't just LOVE the standard 10yo but if you do...... This malt's for you!

Ken

Hi Ken,
Just what I expected.
Ed

kbuzbee
08-05-2006, 15:00
Last night the Ardbeg 10 yo won the laurels. The kind of peatreek that makes you sit in your chair, glass in hand and sigh, savoring the finish of a fine whisky. However, tonight's pour of Laphroaig 10 yo is eclipsing last night's Ardbeg 10 yo. I will allow it a round in the ring now and see how it fairs tonight.

Stopped into a store I've been in several times... Rarely find anything of much interest. The last purchase there was their last 5 bottles of RR101 many months back but today found a bottle of Ardbeg 10yo! Never thought I'd see that here but.... just goes to show you.... Probably sit on it until the weather cools but once I crack it open I'll let you know.

Ken

Joeluka
08-07-2006, 13:07
The Ardbeg is one of my favorite Islay malts. Where the Laphroaig CS has more of a medicinal and iodine Islay flavor the Ardbeg is all peat smoke. Its just kicks you the whole time and then it wont go away for a long time. One of the best finishes of all the Islay malts.
If you can make in happen I suggest the Bowmore 17. It gives you all the greatness of an Islay but it also has all the tones of a great single malt. The wood and honey of a highland, mixed with the punch in the face smoke and Iodine of Islay.

You should get a hold of the two Compass Box Islay inspired vatted malts they do, The Peat Monster and Eleuthera. Since you like the Laphroaig CS you should try the Lagavulin 12yo CS. They do a different bottling every year and they seem to just get better. I'm rambling, I can go on and on about Islay's. I am a PEATFREAK :bowdown:

mythrenegade
08-14-2006, 22:05
Don't feel bad if you don't like Laphroaig. It's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it dram. The people who love it are just more vocal than the others.

Boy, no doubt!

I love this stuff, it is one of my favorite scotches, although I don't buy them anymore after discovering bourbon, I do miss this one flavor. The incredibly rich, smokey flavor with an oily texture is unlike anything else I have ever had.

On the other hand, my brother in law who LOVES scotch, gave me the bottle because he found the stuff incredibly foul. I just gave him a bottle of Macallan 18, look forward to trying that one when I see him next...

Joel