Whisky Review Laphroaig Cask Strength Batch 002

Let me start with a confession, I adore Laphroaig whisky! I have at least six different Laphroaig expressions in my collection, been a “Friend of Laphroaig” for many years which means, for those of you that don’t know, I’ve staked my claim to a one foot square plot of land at the Laphroaig distillery on the Isle of Islay. Why is this significant? Well there is just a chance that I may be ever so slightly biased in my review today. . . ( I will try very hard not to be )

The first thing your going to notice with this whisky is the strength, 58.3% Vol just as it should be straight from the cask without being watered down. 

Those of you not familiar with cask strength whiskies I strongly recommend that you read the following article by my fellow blogger The Whisky Woman. In this article she clearly explains why cask strength whiskies are released by distilleries and how you should enjoy them  Read Cask Strength 101

So what does it taste like? I hear you ask . . .   This is how Laphroaig themselves describe the cask strength;

The Purists Choice

Awarded Best Single Malt in the World in 2005 by Whisky Magazine, Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is bottled at natural distillery strength with all the depth of genuine taste and texture normally associated with sampling whisky at source.

We mature Laphroaig in seasoned oak barrels, charred before filling to impart a slight sweet vanilla nuttiness. Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is barrier-filtered only just, to remove the small char particles present. This means you will enjoy Laphroaig exactly as we made it. In extremes of temperature and when you add water it may appear a little cloudy – this is the natural condition of a malt of such a peaty pungence and uncompromising purity.

Adding a little water releases a rich aroma of peat smoke with some sweetness and strong hints of the sea.

Emphatic, full bodied and utterly unforgettable. Simply ‘The Best’.

Tasting Notes:   COLOUR: Rich deep gold   NOSE: Very powerful, “medicine”, smoke, seaweed and ozone characters overlaying a sweetness   BODY: Full and strong   PALATE: A massive peated burst of flavour with hints of sweetness at the end   FINISH: Long and savoury

The big question now is should we enjoy this monster of a whisky as it comes straight from the cask or start adding water to tame the beast? Now, I’ve enjoyed many a glass in the “as it comes” style yet this is strong powerful stuff and it’s not long before you actually start to feel a little heady. If anything I find it a little too strong and enjoy the flavour more with a splash of ice-cold mineral water. As mentioned above the water also brings out the real hit of peat smoke that Laphroaig is oh so famous for. As with all Laphroaig it is a grown up whisky with HUGE flavour though probably not one for an uninitiated whisky drinker, this one’s got cojones! Just perfect for the long winter ahead. . .

A Hint of Garlic Rating 18 / 20

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19 responses

  1. HoG!

    Totally with you on the Laphroiag! I too have my square foot of Islay. Have had the 10, the cask strength 10, the Quarter Cask, the 18, and the oh so amazing 30 (and everything in between too). Had the 18 last night and was enthralled by the “camp fire” aftertaste. Just wonderful! Have you had the Triple Wood yet? It recently became available here. Would be curious to hear your thoughts.

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    • G-LO

      You are now my Laphroaig hero! That’s an amazing selection and i’m just a tiny bit jealous you’ve got the 30 !! My collection currently has the 10, Cask 10, Quarter Cask, 15, 18, 2010 Cairdeas and Un-Chillfiltered 9 year old. The triple wood is going to be my next purchase I think. Have you tried the 25 year old ? I’d really like to add one of those to my collection.

      • Note the past tense. I do not own all of these Laphroiag expressions (I wish!). I’ve only ever purchased the Quarter Cask and the 18. I had the others at a Scotch Malt Whisky Society event. If I started spending that kind of money on whisky, I would definitely be headed to divorce court. :)

  2. Nice review! We had a cask strength 10 tasting at Feis Ile earlier this year – The second batch definitely nudged it as the best of show, followed by batch 1. Batch 3 was the poor relation. We were lucky enough to sample from a cask intended for batch 4, which was good, though following on from our similar experience with Ardbeg Alligator we’ll have to wait and see what the finished article is like.

    G-LO – I was drinking some triple wood last night – It’s not bad, a little reminiscent of watered-down Uigeadail. Although I probably wouldn’t buy a bottle myself, it was certainly interesting and I wouldn’t be unhappy if I were offered a glass at a friend’s house. If you’re a devoted follower of the Leapfrog it’s certainly worth trying – Be sure and let us all know what you think!

    • Freddie,

      Have not had the Uigeadail yet. One of the other guys from the blog (The Wookie) has had it, and he really liked it. And he typically doesn’t care for the uber peated stuff. This year’s Society event is just under three weeks away, so I’m hoping for a good line-up from Laphroiag. They haven’t disappointed me yet!

      I’m liking how all of our blogs are connecting. This is fun!

      Cheers!
      G-LO

    • Thank you, as whisky is very much a personal taste drink it is nice to hear that other people enjoy our thoughts. I too have heard that batch 3 is lacking something compare to the first two. Ardbeg is another fine whisky though i’ve only tried the Ardbeg 10 year old so far, got my eye on the Corryvreckan though for Christmas.

      • HoG, it’s funny you should mention that. I had some batch 3 in a bar recently and it was pure coal dust in the mouth – None of the complexity of batches 1&2. I remember it was the least impressive one at the Feis Ile back-to-back Cs10 tasting, but not as bad as on this particular occasion. It may have been subject to the issues I struggle with in this article -
        http://dramalot.com/2011/07/16/to_dram_or_not_to_dram/

        Regarding the Corryvreckan – I highly recommend it. An tempestuous beauty of a dram!

        G-Lo, all this interconnectivity is certainly the way ahead!

        Slainte!

  3. Thanks so much for the reference! I haven’t tasted many of the different Laphroiags but not because I don’t like their heavier peated tastes (I do!), I just always seem to be sniffing out the whiskies from less-traditional countries. That said, between you and G-LO, my interest (and palate) have been piqued and I may have to stop and spend more time at this booth at this years WhiskyFest event. Great review!!

  4. HoG,
    Glad you liked it! By the way, I’m trying your recipe for Thai Chicken Noodle Salad tonight – I’ll let you know how it goes!

    G-LO,
    I’m definitely going to WhiskyFest NYC – should be great, there will be a ton of distillers in town and lots going on that whole week. Wish you and the BoozeDancing crew could make it! Regarding the SMWS event – I believe they had it already this year. It was the one on a boat… not sure how well hours of whisky drinking & boats go together and I wasn’t that interested in finding out! Perhaps I’ll look into coming down to Philly one year for a more “grounded” occasion.

    Cheers boys!
    -WW

    • The one on the boat was The Whisky Guild. That was just after Labor Day. Looks like the Scotch Malt Whisky Society doesn’t have a NYC event scheduled for the Fall. I guess they don’t want to compete/conflict with WhiskyFest. I’ve never been to WhiskyFest. I get the feeling that it’s a MUCH bigger event. Pity you can’t make it down. It’s always good fun! And this year we managed to reserve a table. Always good to have a home base!

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