If you haven’t heard of the name Laphroaig (pronounced La-Froyg), you’re missing out on one of the most critically-acclaimed whiskies ever made. Hailing from the Scottish island of Islay, Laphroaig has been crafting the finest whiskies since 1815.
With over 2 centuries of experience in crafting exquisite single malt scotch, it’s safe to say that the Laphroaig distillery have almost perfected the art of whisky-making.
Today, we’ll look into three different expressions (variations) of this revered whisky:
1. Laphroaig Select
The Laphroaig Select was crafted from carefully chosen casks of each of Laphroaig’s key styles – the Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood and the 10 Year Old. What’s really worth noting is how its final maturation takes place in American oak casks, rarely ever used for scotch whisky.
This bottle of Laphroaig is notably sweeter than its counterparts. It has a fruity and florally aroma (obtained from the PX Cask) and tastes rather sweet and smoky with subtle hints of spiciness.
Adding a dash of water to a serving of the Laphroaig Select would bring out an even sweeter flavour and allow you to taste bits of the American oak that its aged in. For those of you who enjoy rich and peaty whiskies, The Laphroaig Select is definitely a must-try!
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
The Laphroaig Quarter Cask essentially gets its name from the cask it is aged in. A quarter cask is just one of many cask sizes used to age whisky. In the 19th century, Scotch whisky was often transported across Scotland in quarter casks as they could fit on the backs of packhorses.
The Quarter Cask is produced by extracting spirit from Laphroaig’s standard ex-bourbon barrels then transferring them into quarter casks which increases the alcohol’s oak contact, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig’s signature peatiness.
Its flavour is rather complex consisting of peaty, deep caramel-like sweetness contrasted by a spiciness reminiscent of chilli peppers. Nose-wise, the Quarter Cask is just as sweet sporting hints of both chocolate and cinnamon.
Laphroaig 10 years
Laphroaig’s 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is the original Laphroaig, and serves as the foundation of all other Laphroaig expressions. Similar to its variants, the Laphroaig 10 years is made from malted barley dried over a peat fire.
The smoke from this peat is exclusively unique to Islay and the reason for Laphroaig’s signature peaty taste. All of the flavours and aromas of the previously mentioned expressions are present in this whisky – only significantly bolder.
In 2019, Laphroaig’s 10 Year Old won the award for Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Years & Under by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. If you want a great peaty whisky bordering on the sweeter side, Laphroaig’s 10 Year Old definitely takes the cake.
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