Laphroaig 10, Cask Strength Batch #014, 58.6%

Generally, when official 10 year old Laphroaigs come out, they sell out instantly. Or at least, that was the premise to me, when I decided to get myself one of these. One half, to be exact, since my bottle was shared with JPH.

Anyway, as it turns out, that seems to be a thing of the past, since this one is stil available, more than half a year after it’s initial release. Also, the price in The Netherlands has dropped from some € 140 when it came out, to just around € 90 at the moment. For a whisky scoring almost 90 points on Whiskybase, with a relevant 253 votes, this is a very strange thing to happen.

Anyway, ex-bourbon Laphroaig, with an age statement, at high strength. What could go wrong?

Image from Whiskybase

Sweet peat, band-aids, marram grass and lots of coastal salinity. Slightly tarry, and quite old fashioned, apart from the sweetness that feels a bit artificial.

Sharp on the arrival, dry and peaty. Quite some smoke, tar, peat and band-aids. A bit of salinity, but less grassy. The sweetness is still here, but feels more integrated. Interestingly, the texture is quite syrupy.

The finis loses the sweetness and goes full frontal into the Islay peat bog. Lots of smoky peat, band-aids, a complete dry dock tarring a fishing boat.

This is one of those reviews where I am very unsure about how my remarks come across. Because, I like this one quite a bit, but I also have some less positive notes.

In a way, this one does all things rather well. It’s definitely Islay in style, and there are even some tarry and medicinal notes, which doesn’t always happen anymore with Laphroaig. That’s quite good. Very good, even.

However, that sweetness throughout the nose and palate just doesn’t sit well with me. I understand that the general palate nowadays prefers sweeter stuff, in general, but in this case it does start to feel tinkered-with to me. I just doesn’t combine that well with what the whisky tries to do, in my humble opinion.

Still, that sweetness isn’t too offensive at all, when push comes to shove. The fact that this doesn’t taste like a generic peaty whisky, but has some character is far more important.


Available for € 89 at Whiskysite, at the time of writing. Other shops found here.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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