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article imageOp-Ed: Whisky review #3: Laphroaig 10 year old Special

By Tim Sandle     Sep 28, 2014 in Food
Medicinal, iodine, peat, smoke, seaweed. These might sound like off-putting combinations, but when crafted as Laphroaig a unique and bold whisky is created.
Welcome to the third in an on-going series of Digital Journal whisky reviews. We have previously studied whisky from the Isle of Jura, and the bestselling Irish whisky - Jameson's.
With this review, we'll going to look at something very different: the Laphroaig ten year-old (pronounced "la-frogie"). This is a single-malt Scotch whisky distilled on the island Islay, home to many different distilleries. Laphroaig is located on the south coast of the Isle of Islay. It sometimes called the "medicinal malt".
Laphroaig is arguably one of the most strongly flavored of all Scotch whiskies. The main bottling is the 10 year old variety. It is an old whisky, although the modern form is a little different from the nineteenth century variety. The Laphroaig distillery was set-up in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston.
As to what the ten year-old expression is like, as with the previous reviews, we'll look at the key factors.
Nose: The first smell of the whisky reveals a big, smoky, woody peat scent. On closer sniffs, there are spices, and licorice, and quite a strong hint of salt.
Palate: Now, with the first taste. Here there is a strong taste of seaweed, followed by a a hint of vanilla and a distinct medicinal taste. As the whisky is held on the tongue, there is an oaky and spice mix, including a taste of cardamom and pepper.
Finish: As the whisky is gulped down, the taste is slightly savory, and here the tar and iodine are very noticeable.
Adding a drop of water to the whisky opens up other flavors and the range of spices becomes more complex. This is a full-bodied, smoky delight. A complex drink with a residual sweetness and which delivers a long warming finish.
One claim to fame that the whisky has is that it is said to be Prince Charles' favorite tipple. Laphroaig is the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales.
My rating is 8 out of 10. This is not a whisky for everyone. You need to like peat and heavy smoke to enjoy this whisky. However, if you'd like to imagine life on a windswept Scottish island with the sea close by and sea-salt in the air, this is the perfect dram for the occasion.
For those partial to a whisky cocktail, here is a recipe for one using Laphroaig. Called, appropriately, "the smoking gun".
2 oz. Laphroaig 10-year old
3/4 tsp. Fernet Branca
1/2 tsp. brown sugar cordial (see below)
2 dashes Fee Bros. whiskey barrel-aged bitters
Cracked ice
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: small scotch or cocktail glass
Garnish: mint leaf
Stir all ingredients and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish.
The Laphroaig 10 Year Old (70cl, forty percent alcohol-by-volume) is readily available. The cost is between £35-40 ($55-65).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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