Blind Tasting #11: Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch #004
So I’m a bit bummed out that I didn’t get a higher score for sample #11. I mean, 61 points out of a possible 100 isn’t bad, but I’d hoped I would’ve recognized a Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength during the Blind Tasting Competition. Alas, I didn’t.
I quite like the annual cask strength releases by Laphroaig, also the recent batches. I have batch #008 open right now, but when nosing and tasting sample #11, it never occurred to compare the two. Instead I finally settled on a Caol Ila. I know there have been some excellent releases from Gordon & Macphail recently, all around 10 years old, at a high abv, and matured in sherry butts.
Because I figured I was tasting a young-ish Islay whisky, matured in sherry casks and bottled at a proper strength, that’s were my mind went. After browsing Whiskybase for a while, I eventually settled on this bottling. I had never tasted one, mind you. I just figured it was the most suitable candidate. I wrong, because it turned out the be this one.
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch #004 (58,3%, OB)
Nose: Smoky and farmy, but also fairly coastal, and with a sweeter side. Some oranges, and strawberries too, as well as a hint of brown sugar.
Taste: Nice sweet arrival (sugared breakfast cereals), but after the first swallow quite ashy, with a good amount of peat, tar and a hint of rubber. Some cloves as well.
Finish: Lingering peat and tar, a tad dry.
Extremely drinkable at such a high alcohol percentage. As with all the cask strength batches from Laphroaig, this is excellent whisky. It just never disappoints.
I’m currently leading the competition, but for how long? Four guys in the top 10 scored 98 points yesterday, properly identifying it as a Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength (only the wrong batch).
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.