Some things just don’t work. Take sofa beds for example. Nobody has ever had a great nights sleep on the tiny, foldable mattress that a sofa bed provides (or certainly not without the help of a few drams). Concurrently no one has ever relaxed against the metallic stiffness of folding mechanism and thought this is a great sofa. This was our opinion of Laphraoig 10 too. We had tasted it and just been offended.
So, when a friend turned up to Real Dram Towers with a bottle of the Quarter Cask, to say we were suspicious is putting it mildly. But here is our review of that very dram.
Laphroaig is an Islay distillery, which is owned by Beam Suntory. The key selling point of this distillery is its big, peaty flavour, which has been described by some as a slap in the face. According to Wikipedia it is the Prince of Wales’s favourite whisky, but don’t hold that against it.
Price: £30 – 40
Appearance: Like the golden centre of a creme egg.
Aroma: Salty, Peat Smoke and Lemon, which feels like a bonfire lit on a beach.
Taste: Initially and very surprisingly for me, as I timidly knocked back the dram, the first and most dominant flavour is a golden syrup sweetness, which combines well with a thicker, gloopy texture. This unexpected sweetness is cut through and lightened by citrus notes, that balance and bring a more dynamic palate to this whisky.
Then, more expectedly in the middle there is a smoky, meaty charcoal flavour, which arrives in a gradual building format. This middle is the heart of the whisky, its spicy, powerful, but always contained by the sweetness from earlier. It never to my tastebuds becomes over powering or chemically. Here instead you get lost in a smokehouse, as salty, meaty sweetness mingles with thick, black charring smoke.
As the dram finishes, the last notes here are an ever dwindling spice. It numbs the edges of the mouth and tongue and to say this dram made me hungry is an understatement. These final notes are the depth of leather and the cling of salt.
Mouthfeel: Sweet, Thick and Smoky.
Overall: I have to admit to being confused. This dram was good, in fact it is pretty darn good. This is not what I was expecting at all and it means I need to revisit the other Laphroaig drams to see if I was wrong. I am so confused that I might even sell my King Sized Bed and replace it with a sofa bed, just to see if everything I previously thought correct, is in fact wrong.
Real Dram Factor: 7.7
Source: My Mate Al’s Kindness.