Before I get started on this review, I must warn you – I haven’t been home to Scotland in a long, long time. That means that anything that reminds me of home is likely to get a good reaction from me.
So when the thing that reminds me of home is one of my favourite whiskies, that hails from one of the most picturesque areas of Scotland and has one of the most distinguishable tastes there is in whisky – then I get excited.
Laphroaig has become something of an institution North of the border. It is the only Single Malt Scotch Whisky that bears the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales – something he awarded to it in 1994 upon a visit to the distillery in Islay, reportedly due to the fact that it is his favourite whisky.
And who am I to argue with Prince Charles – Laphroaig is a damn fine whisky. The particular Laphroaig that I am reviewing today is their entry-level expression – Laphroaig 10.
However, I don’t want that expression “entry-level” to mislead you or make you think that this is some cheap, or low quality whisky. This stuff is the real deal.
Laphroaig 10 carries the hallmarks of all of Laphroaig’s whiskies – a deep smoky peat taste on the palate. For those that don’t like a smoky whisky, this may not the whisky for you. But for those that appreciate a deep smoky peaty flavour, don’t hesitate to get your hands on this whisky.
Laphroaig 10, despite having such a powerful peaty taste on the palate, still manages to balance this out with a subtle sweetness that emerges after the initial tasting. Subtle sweet oak and malty flavours add a little variety to the dominant smoky peat.
Without this slight variation of flavour, it would be easy to say that Laphroaig 10 was simply a peaty punch to the throat, with no subtlety. Don’t get me wrong – this certainly packs a hefty peaty punch, but it is one that is somewhat cushioned with the subtle sweet and salty flavours that emerge on the palate throughout tasting.
Coming in at £34.95 this is about as good an introduction to Islay whiskies as you will find. For that price it’s an absolute no brainer.
If you get the chance, then I’d recommend visiting Islay itself to visit the distillery and see the process itself in action and the beautiful surroundings the distillery sits in.
However, I’m aware that may not be an option for the vast majority so why not buy a bottle, have a look at some of the incredible panoramic shots of the beautiful isle of Islay on show at and sit back and sip on a dram of Laphroaig 10.
It’ll be almost like you’re there.
Laphroaig 10 is available for a price of £34.95 from our friends at 31Dover.com