Laphroaig 10 y.o. Cask Strength Batch 008 Review

Laphroaig 10 y.o. Cask Strength Batch 00806-lap-00-img_3798

59.2% abv

Score:  91/100


Finally.  A long awaited return to a range I fell in love with years ago.  I wrote up Batch 001 and 002 here on the site in early days – and have a bottle of Batch 003 in the archive – but sadly I’ve not been near another one these releases since.  Wait…notes say I tried Batch 004 at some point too.  Unfortunately they are, for inexplicable reasons, not available in Canada no matter how much we plead.  And trust me…I have taken this to Beam Suntory on more than one occasion.

A recent trip to Islay was the perfect opportunity to finally scoop another bottle of this young bog beastie.  Actually, between the four of us that went over, we picked up four bottles of it.  Only one now remains intact (now secure in the archive a chez moi).  After sipping it in one of the island’s pubs, we immediately bought a bottle for evening dramming in Bowmore.  The other two bottles have been generously shared amongst 50 or so good people.  Just the way malts were meant to be treated.

I remember loving these releases, but I don’t recall such harmonious sweet and smoky balance.  Still retains the feist of young Laphroaig, redolent of smoke, peat, earth and medicine, while bringing syrupy sweet candy fruitiness.  Absolutely spot on whisky making.  Every peathead deserves the opportunity to try this one.  Find it…buy it…share it.

Nose:  Wow.  Medicinal AND fruity.  Much deeper threads of jammy fruit than I’d ever expect in a young Laphroaig.  Lemon and lime.  Mint Leaves candy or eucalyptus.  Dry smoke and earthy undertones.  Cocoa powder (dry and drier).  Maybe even chocolate.  This even SMELLS like a thick drink.  Ashy.  Iodine.

Palate:  Unreal delivery.  Sweet, syrupy, rich and fruity.  And a peated hammer to the teeth.  Lots of smoke.  And sooty, char notes.  Lovely.  Almost burnt fruit skins.  Jammy.  Like licking the ashtray at the end of a kitchen party.  Flinty and redolent of lapsang souchong tea.  A finish that seems endless.

Thoughts:  Love this dram.  Not for everyone, but those who love it will truly cherish it.


 – Images & Words:  Curt

62 thoughts on “Laphroaig 10 y.o. Cask Strength Batch 008 Review

  1. Robert

    Finally a review of a whisky I can actually obtain! And an AS whisky, so no rambling and endless debates. I have the 007, which I think I mentioned in previous comment. I’ve had the 2, 3, 4 and now 007. All reeeellly good versions of peated whiskies. The 007 is definitely a keeper that has improved even more with air time, and I hear the 8 is also a keeper. I was concerned that the Cairdeas 2015 would soon disappear, but now don’t care as I like the 10 CS even more. Lately I’ve been doing a dram of Nadurra 16 followed by a dram of 007. Absolutely love nosing and sniffing these two for 2-3 hours. Yum!

    1. David

      I have a bottle of the 007 I got through a friend in the US. Havenb’t tried I yet. I don’t plan to open it until I can do so with some like-minded company.

    2. Jeff

      There’s no “debate” about NAS; the marketing (age matters to whisky in some industry-determined instances, but, magically, not in others) is simply indefensible bullshit, which is why it’s nice to see age statements here.

    1. Jeff

      Fair enough; people keep failing to find any rational defense for NAS beyond “the gullible and their money should soon be parted” and I keep pointing it out. You’re right, nothing changes.

  2. Athena

    Does anyone know why this one is unobtainium in Canada? I’ve never read a bad review, it seems to be reasonably priced and it seems to spur demand.

    1. David

      If by why, you mean in the abstract sense, I can say no. Logically, there is demand and there seems to be supply.

      However, it seems to be an illogical situation, When I called the LCBO they insisted they needed to be approached by the Laphroaig agent. When I called the Laphroaig agent they said they had no allocation for Canada because no province had requested it…

      I can almost guarantee that if LCBO got some in it would sell out in a weekend…

      1. Jeff

        As per the story I was told about 57 North by the LCBO some time ago, that the agent sets the price (a nosebleed $174.95), there’s a wonderful carousel of finger pointing between the retailer and the supplier when anyone questions or complains about the current state of things. Consumers unable to write glowing ad copy for the powers that be are intended to be silent; to the industry’s credit, a great many consumers appear to be learning their role.

    2. Ol' Jas

      It seems similar to how Talisker 57N isn’t available in the USA. No one has a good reason, and we on the thirsty side of the border pine for that unobtainable juice all the harder.

        1. Chris 1

          It’s available in BC if you want to pay $190 Can for it. Actually, that might not be a bad deal for our American friends.

          1. Skeptic

            Wow! I paid $117.50USD in Tel Aviv duty free for a whole litre of it a year and a half ago and I thought it was a little much…

    3. Collegiate

      I have often wondered what the price would be if we ever did get it in Ontario? With the regular 10 yo now going for an absurd $86, I think they would have to charge a mint for the CS version in order for it not to undercut the sales of the standard 10. This is undoubtedly a profitable situation that laphroaig does not want to undermine.

      I have only have batch 005 (x2) courtesy of some snowbirds. It didn’t blow me away, but I have heard that it is the weakest batch of them all. Cairdeas 2015 easily surpassed it in every way.

    4. David

      One has to wonder whether the CETA deal (if a small town in Belgium doesn’t scuttle the whole thing) might bring changes to availability in Canada… mind you, Brexit may have unforeseen implications as well.

        1. Bruce

          Agreed…should Brexit go forward. I think though, that having the ability to purchase online in Euroope would have a revolutionary effect on the liquor retail industry here. Prices would have to be competitive (none of this Uigeadail at $180 crap), and they would have to offer real selections…

  3. Robert

    That is an absurd price for the 10. It’s about $45 here and CS is about $65-70. I didn’t buy the 5 & 6 due to reviews, but the 007 is quite good. It’s interesting that it seems several distilleries have improved recently after slumps in the quality of their product. Besides Laphroaig 10 CS, I’ve seen it with Lagavulin 12, Glenmorangie 10, Arran 14, Bunnahabhain 12 and Glenlivet 12. All of these have improved (in my view) over the past few years. BTW, Lore is $50 more here than the 10 CS. Based on reviews and my experiences with the CS, I’m saving my money and buying the CS. It’s really a value whisky.

    1. David

      I’ve been put off by the price for the 10, though I hear it is full of flavour even at 43%. But for another $15 you could get the Cairdeas (when it was available) and I managed a 007 CS for $60 USD through a friend. Nothing in this thread has convinced me to get a regular 10.

      1. Robert

        I like the 10, but think the QC, CS and Cairdeas are better values. I typically order the 10 in bars and restaurants when I want a peated whisky, as it’s usually the cheapest dram.

        1. Jeff

          They might be better values, but it’s also a case, to some degree, of what qualities are being valued with each whisky. I haven’t tried the CS or the Cairdeas, but I find the 10 to be a better balanced whisky than the QC – more on par in that way with the 18 and the 30 in that the 10 isn’t just about oak contact and peat. If bigger/more flavour is equated with good/desired flavour, it’s hard not to endorse either the QC or the Triple Wood, but that’s not all Laphroaig has to offer.

          In any value calculation where almost anything considered to be worth drinking is scored 80+, price makes a far bigger difference than a quality score that usually only has a real window of variance of about 15 points (80-95). Even so, a realistic scoring of most cheap blends will result in them beating most single malts in terms of value, just because they ARE so relatively cheap to buy – the only question becomes one of the minimum standard of quality (how low will you go to find value).

          1. ATW Post author

            Articulate, as always. The 10 is a beaut. Balanced and broadly appealing. Has a softest to counter the peat heft, which I really love.

          2. Robert

            Huh? Sorry, but that reads like Chinese. Not sure what you are meaning to say, but my rating is this:
            CS>2105 Cairdeas>18>15>CS>10>2014 Cairdeas>Triple Wood.

          3. Jeff

            I’m not sure if what you’re ranking is quality or value, Robert. If it’s value, my point was that how you scored each whisky matters somewhat, but that the price you picked them up at matters a great deal more. The general quality window for rating most “good” whiskies on the 100-point scale is more narrow ( say 80-95) than the price swings within and between different markets – which, in turn, sort of assumes that people are acknowledging that “value” IS some ratio/comparison of quality vs. price, or QPR (otherwise, what does it mean)?

            The other point on value was that, scored realistically/consistently (no “this is just crap; 12/100” joke/showboat scoring) many blends, even cheap blends, are better values in terms of their quality/price ratio than a lot of (ever more) expensive single malts, so the issue really then becomes one’s personal minimum standard of accepted quality. High-end stuff will often taste much better, but the difference in price usually far outstrips the difference in quality, so value is lower.

            Consider (Curt’s scores, LCBO prices):

            JW Blue Label: 88 pts./$300.70 = 0.29 pts./$
            JW Red Label: 70 pts./$29.95 = 2.34 pts./$

            In order for the value of Red to be only nearly equal to Blue, you would either have to rate Red Label around 8.7/100 at $29.95/bottle or, rated at 70/100 with a value of 0.29, its price would have to be about $241.

            For comparison to a decent, but not really expensive, single malt:

            Glenlivet 12: 83 pts./$58.45 = 1.42 pts./$ and Red Label still comes out comfortably on top in value.

            If what is being ranked in your list above is just quality alone, Robert, my point was that it matters what you are using as the hallmarks of a “good” whisky in each case – peat, aggressiveness/big flavour, subtlety/complexity, cask influence/woodiness – because some of these factors are mutually exclusive, or at least a pronounced balancing act, within most lines of a distillery’s expressions. In terms of scoring, I can find that I like two whiskies equally well in that their scores are equal, but that I don’t like them equally well for the same reasons/factors in each case, so it’s a matter of what is/isn’t being appreciated in one whisky vs. what is/isn’t being appreciated in the other.

          4. Bruce

            I don’t think you can put a price on quality…

            Ok, that sounds like a commercial for something. What I mean is I don’t think that the dollar value of a malt can be used to easily assign value.

            Sure JW red is cheap, but I won’t drink it at any price, so it has no value.

            I really like some of the Ardbeg releases but they are too pricy. Rosebank or Port Ellen are priced out of my league but if I won the lottery sure I would grab some.

            It turns out that most whiskies I really enjoy happen to be in the $80-120 range and I have bought those I could afford. If they were cheaper I would possibly buy more, and if more expensive I would buy less, but because I can afford to buy more volume than I can drink it wouldn’t change things much. I would never choose based on price per point. I would choose based on whether I like it, and then look to see if I can afford it. If I don’t like it I wouldn’t even take money to drink it.

          5. Jeff

            Thanks for the response.

            “Sure JW red is cheap, but I won’t drink it at any price, so it has no value.”

            As I said before, the only question becomes one of the minimum standard of quality (how low will you go to find value). Some people probably wouldn’t admit to buying/drinking the lowly, pedestrian, Glenlivet 12, but there’s little denying that it’s a better value than Blue Label.

            “I don’t think you can put a price on quality…

            Ok, that sounds like a commercial for something. What I mean is I don’t think that the dollar value of a malt can be used to easily assign value.”

            Prices are put on quality, or at least perceived quality, all the time by everyone – in fact, it’s perceived quality and scarcity/collectability that are two of the main drivers of pricing. That’s not a blanket defense of current pricing or industry-supporting myth making (“the price is so high because there’s 60 YEAR OLD in Blue Label”) but, hyperbole aside, quality isn’t a “priceless” aspect of a product for either producers or consumers. I’m sure there are much better whiskies out there than I will ever try, but I won’t be buying them because their very real quality doesn’t convince me to pay the high prices that are within my means but beyond my idea of acceptable value for my money. Value, like quality, has a bottom end for almost everyone.

            If the idea of “you can’t put a price on quality” sounds like ad copy, that’s because it frequently is, with the intention of getting the consumer to forgo the value-for-money consideration and just buy the product with the highest perceived quality/bragging rights. It’s exactly how high-end whisky is, and always has been, sold.

            Take the example of Brora 35 (I don’t think it’s exactly the same whisky that Curt reviewed, but I’ll use his score for figures and LCBO prices).

            Brora 35: 94.5 pts./$2,200 = 0.043 pts./$. (If Brora was a perfect whisky – 100 pts./$2,200 = 0.045 pts./$)

            There’s no arguing that, if scoring is taken as correct, the Brora has the highest quality of the four so far mentioned, but there’s also no arguing that people are paying far more per unit OF quality to taste its high level of achievement – you pay the price to ride the ride; I don’t say that others are wrong for doing so, only that I come to a different conclusion. Like many, if the price was lower (and the value therefore higher) I’d be closer to buying it but, as it is, the value isn’t there for me – and a lot of people reach the same conclusion without getting out a calculator.

            Similarly, “I really like some of the Ardbeg releases but they are too pricy” – it sounds like you’re putting a price on quality/making a judgment on value there; how are they “too pricy” if you really like them and quality can’t be priced? Your conclusion, like mine, probably didn’t take a slide rule.

            My point isn’t that I, or anyone, chooses what they buy on price per point; it’s that if they’re talking value, that’s what the math works out to – value is a measurement of how much quality for how much money. I often find that people who object to my ideas of value have trouble defining their own. No matter what you buy, at what price level, its value would be higher if its price was lower, and its value would be lower if its price was higher. If half of the whiskies between $80-$120 suddenly had their prices jump into the $160-$240 range, their values would become less attractive (and certainly compared to the values of the other whiskies that remained at $80-$120).


          6. Bruce

            Yah, maybe I don’t look at it quite from the same lens but I see what you mean.

            I’d add though, that for stuff that isn’t even worth using as an antiseptic, the points per dollar system breaks down. even if its cheap there is NO VALUE in something like that. So it really only means something if there is a chance you would buy/drink it.

          7. David

            Hate to break it to you Bruce, Jeff, but it breaks down even further, because while you could argue that an antiseptic has value, I would argue that most antiseptics/hand sanitizers are:

            A) cheaper than crap like JW RED

            2) more effective – at 40% ABV you can’t use these to sanitize…has to be 60%. So if you didn’t like A’Bunadh (NAS issues aside) you COULD use it as a hand sanitizer but it’s value would still be low because Life Brand hand sanitizer (also NAS) can be bought on sale for $8.00 for 640 cc and A’Bunadh is around $100 for only 2 ounces more…

          8. Jeff

            Again – the only question becomes one of the minimum standard of quality (how low will you go to find value).

            The real issue is where hyperbole breaks down: no matter what some single malt drinkers may think of it, Red Label (and a great many other blends that are probably worse) are consumed worldwide in huge volumes, so the idea that the stuff literally isn’t drinkable pretty much stops there. I can’t give it a glowing recommendation but, on anything like a consistent scoring scale, I’d give it 66 and I think Curt’s 70 is certainly ballpark. And again, you could give it a showboat “”this is crap” review score of only 9/100 and its value would STILL be higher than that of Blue Label, which speaks to my original point about blends.


          9. athena

            To be blunt, I don’t know how meaningful a score is if the quality is below what you would drink. Give Red Label a 60 or a 9 I won’t sip it. It may have an amazing value or points per dollar but I won’t touch it. And most people who drink it do so simply to add alcohol to something else.

            To me the red has no value regardless of cost, and the blue little more…

          10. Jeff

            To be blunt, the score matters because, as I’ve said – what, four times now? – personal standards for the quality (and value) of what people will drink varies…. with people! If whiskies below the quality standard of what you would drink (say, 85/100 for figures) aren’t rated/reviewed, how do you know which whiskies they are except to try them yourself? I find the “whiskies to avoid” type of reviews the most useful because, in the end, it’s only bad whiskies that actually rip people off – and I’d rather have that information before purchasing so I’m not ripped off.

            As I’ve said twice now, some people wouldn’t be caught drinking Glenlivet 12, but that says nothing about its relative value either if it’s rated realistically versus other products. Whether you, or anyone, would or wouldn’t drink Red Label, Glenlivet 12, or any other particular whisky, isn’t the point and never was.

          11. bob

            To be blunt, something ain’t so just cause you say it’s so, no matter how many times you say it.

            What Athena is saying is that price per point, point per dollar are irrelevant if you don’t like the product and won’t buy it. If it’s crap it doesn’t matter if the score is 7 or 70. It might be really cheap bit it’s still a waste of money. In contrast, an expensive piece of crap is just more of a waste of money.

            You remind me of Donald Trump Jeff. You do have some valid points but you obscure them when you attack other people’s viewpoints needlessly.

          12. Jeff

            And what I’m saying, bob – for the fifth time, and for the thickest in the room – is that the list of whiskies that people won’t touch, either because of low quality or low value (see the part about Glenlivet, or have someone explain it to you) reflects a personal choice that varies with the individual (again, minimum personal standard of quality); it says nothing about what value itself is or isn’t if whiskies are honestly and consistently assessed.

            Red Label’s a waste of money? It sells in huge volume worldwide, so other people, evidently, make their own assessment and disagree with yours. Many would say that Red Label drinkers, of course, “really don’t know whisky”, but many who will reject Red Label will still defend NAS (or let on it can be defended, which is a vital distinction), so I don’t take poo-pooing Red Label as a real sign of anything. Some have a lower standard of whisky quality, others have a lower standard of rational thought.

            You remind me of you, someone who attacks other people’s viewpoints needlessly but who frequently doesn’t have any valid points.

          13. Bruce


            I totally agree with you. Very VALID point, Athena. Value is a completely subjective term. And it is used differently by different people.

            JW Red may be crap to you, in which case it doesn’t matter if Jim Murray gives it a 95 and calls it the best Scotch in the world. Didn’t he do something similar last year with a mass-marketed Canadian rye?

            And you are correct, in that if you like something you will buy it if you can afford it. For instance, currently Macallan CS is hundreds of dollars to buy on the secondary market ( let’s for the moment consider the 10 YO version so as not to confuse the issue with NAS obfuscation). I like Mac CS. It is an excellent whisky. But I cannot afford it. However, if I won the lottery and had extra money I would snap it up. And drink it. Or if someone gave it to me as a gift I would drink it. It would be just as valuable to me either way.

          14. Jeff

            “I totally agree with you. Very VALID point, Athena. Value is a completely subjective term. And it is used differently by different people.”

            Maybe, but what’s far more frequent is that people use the term value without, again, being able to actually define it, or separate it from the idea of quality.

            “JW Red may be crap to you, in which case it doesn’t matter if Jim Murray gives it a 95 and calls it the best Scotch in the world. Didn’t he do something similar last year with a mass-marketed Canadian rye?”

            The above is a case in point; Jim Murray rates whisky quality, not whisky value. It’s true that different people’s assessment of quality differ, which is why it’s important to have a scoring system that’s internally consistent (and one of the the biggest challenges to that with Murray is that he scores Red Label 87.5 and Blue Label 88), but once you have scored relative quality, value, while partly based on quality, is something different: it’s how much quality you get for your money (and it says nothing about your minimum standard of acceptable quality). If people want to talk in fuzzy terms about multiple definitions of value, let’s actually hear some.

            Not surprisingly, a trip to the whisky aisle will show you a lot of products that survive by providing low value, but relatively high quality (Blue Label), others that survive by providing low quality, but relatively high value (Red Label) and still others that provide a combination of intermediate quality and value (Glenlivet 12).

          15. Bruce

            so THAT’S why my kid’s paintings are so valuable! Because they are high quality and worth very little money!

            Why does value HAVE to be about money?

          16. Jeff

            Oh, maybe it doesn’t – but with SO many other definitions out there, you’d think someone could come up with one that happens to apply to a) whiskies that folks actually drink and b) whiskies that folks actually pay for.

            As usual, folks are just blowing smoke and cheering each other as they do so.


          17. Karsten

            Jeff, I know you have stressed the importance that the minimum standard one is willing to accept has for your concept of value, but if JW Red rated at 9 points is still worth more than JW Blue in terms of value, then the minimum standard is clearly not being taken into account.

            With a minimum standard at, say, 80, you could just as well argue that
            JW Red value = -10 pts./$29.95 = -0.334 pts./$
            JW Blue value = 8 pts./$300.70 = 0.027 pts./$
            This way, you would need a minimum standard at 68 or below to value the JW Red higher than the JW Blue.

            Now, the math here is neither more or less meaningful than yours, to say the very least, as in both cases a lot of rules and hidden conditions are being ignored.
            – I.e. is the scale linear (is the quality of a “90 point” whisky 1.5 times the quality of a “60 point” whisky)?
            – And what about incommensurability – does the scale measure any bottled liquid with the letters whisk(e)y on the label, and only those: Does it make sense to have JW Red and Brora 35 on the same scale at all, and, if so, is a 90 point orange juice better value than a 90 point whisky? (and why would I want to care?)
            – And then there’s marginal value: After having downed a bottle of JW Red, would I still consider it better value to make it my choice for bottle number two or would I consider a better whisky albeit one with a lower “value”? -in which case I would have to a) relax the importance of the value factor in decision making or b) loosen the value concept’s tie to either “quality” or price, or both, which amounts to allowing for other variables.

            But at least I think that entering the minimum standard in your calculation the above way helps blurring the line between your views and those of Athena, Bob etc. somewhat…
            If there was one, that is – in fact I don’t see anyone denying that price and quality are important factors in our whisky buying decisions, or that other factors matter (what NAS?), and I don’t see anyone saying much else.

            What, arguments are next door??

  4. Robert

    When did drinking whisky become such a pain in the ass. I don’t give a rats ass about dissecting every effing thing connected with whisky. I buy what I like at the price I think is fair, go home, open it, pour a dram and enjoy the flavors. I don’t need an detailed analysis of the minutiae involved in the distillation, aging, packaging, etc., just is it good and is it worth the price. I’m at the point where I just look at the rating and price, and maybe the summary. Whisky is for enjoyment, not dissertations.

    1. Jeff

      What I find a pain in the ass about whisky is that a lot of people have opinions about it that really don’t stand scrutiny – it’s exactly how we got the boom in NAS; “age doesn’t matter to me, so age must not matter to whisky”, as if willful ignorance is some kind of shield against physics. People are trying it with global warming too.

      As I’ve said before, a non-intellectual approach to whisky can easily become an anti-intellectual approach to whisky, and fuzzy thinking in whisky DOES have its benefits for many – people don’t really have to defend what they don’t really define (it probably helps account for the wide use of the adjective “smoky”). People will collectively play stupid, and right into the hands of the marketers, and then complain how the industry does bad things to whisky that really only caters to the low standards to which they held the industry in the first place. Stupid people good, industry bad!

      Don’t like what I write? That’s OK. Don’t read it. It’s a free country. Fortunately, this is All Things Whisky because, for what it’s worth, I don’t find much of what you write very gripping either, but there might still be room for everybody.

    2. bob

      Robert, my namesake,

      What I find a pain in the ass is when only one opinion counts, and you’re ok if you buy into the NAS rant Kool-Aid, but if by some chance you are irresponsible enough to just want to enjoy a dram in peace, you are complicit in a crime against humanity.

  5. Robert

    Chris and Bob – You’re right I truly am sh;t! Tonight I had a dram of Laphroaig 10CS 007, one of EVBP 12 batch 11, but had the audacity to finish with a dram of WT Rare Breed (a bastard no age whiskey)! And I enjoyed it thoroughly!!! There’s a place in hell for such as me!

    Jeff, I’m sure you are a great guy, but you’re right. You do have a right to your opinion, lengthy though it may be. And yes, I don’t have to read your comments, and I generally don’t. That’s what’s great about newspapers. I see an article about Trump, scan a few words (yyuuuuggggeee, conspiracy , Lying Hillary, etc.) and I’m good to go on to the next page.

    1. Jeff

      It’s clear to me that you don’t read I what write – as it’s evident that you don’t understand it, but can, somehow, still criticize it. Put the same ideas in two succinct paragraphs and, apparently, people can’t follow it; expand on those ideas by way of explanation (that people still don’t get anyway) and you’re writing too much. Such is life; people who won’t read will tell you how to write.

      But if folks feel the need to read some good ol’ “guess what I opened/bought/drank lately” stuff, they should write some (and I can see you’ve got a head start on that) because I usually can’t be bothered, as that stuff doesn’t really say anything of substance. Put it together with the silliness of folks like bob who let on that NAS is defensible but never actually get around to rationally defending it (see the bit about “opinions that don’t stand scrutiny”), and you have the majority of whisky commentary today. People don’t have to defend what they won’t define, let fuzzy thinking reign.

      Sorry if not catering to the lowest common denominator ever prevented anyone from “enjoying a dram in peace” (I didn’t mean to wake anybody up), but people can take comfort in the fact that ignorance is strength… and bliss.

  6. Bruce


    I totally agree with you. Very VALID point, Athena. Value is a completely subjective term. And it is used differently by different people.

    JW Red may be crap to you, in which case it doesn’t matter if Jim Murray gives it a 95 and calls it the best Scotch in the world. Didn’t he do something similar last year with a mass-marketed Canadian rye?

    And you are correct, in that if you like something you will buy it if you can afford it. For instance, currently Macallan CS is hundreds of dollars to buy on the secondary market ( let’s for the moment consider the 10 YO version so as not to confuse the issue with NAS obfuscation). I like Mac CS. It is an excellent whisky. But I cannot afford it. However, if I won the lottery and had extra money I would snap it up. And drink it. Or if someone gave it to me as a gift I would drink it. It would be just as valuable to me either way.

    I hope this doesn’t post twice….I made a slight error in my email address the first time…

  7. Iwain

    I’m an amateur whisky drinker on a budget and I just want to say I really appreciate the point system here. After reading the review on the 2015 Cairdeas I immediately went out to buy one and I think that was my best scotch purchase of 2015. I’m in love with it and now I’m now debating whether I should pick up another bottle of the 2015 or get the new 2016; can’t afford to do both.

    I also really appreciate the discussion you guys are having here. Personally when I read an online review/discussion I find it much more interesting to read about the whisky being compared to another whisky (e.g 10 vs Cairdeas). I can be my own judge on whether the cost difference is justifiable and worth it. If nothing else it sounds like the prices can vary quite significantly depending on which part of Canada or even the world you guys are from. You guys talked about the 10 being anywhere from $45 to $86, and the Cairdeas only $15 more and the Lore being only $50 more, whereas here in Alberta the QC and 10 are pretty similar, with the Caideas/Lore being several folds more expensive. Here are the Alberta Prices (in CAD):

    QC: $48
    10: $56
    Triple wood: $110
    15: $115
    Cairdeas: $120
    Lore: $190

    I think this goes both ways too. If the review is very good but the whisky is very expensive or unobtainable , and someone makes a comparison of it to another one that is more affordable/available, I might be enticed to give that one a try. I can tell you after reading this thread that I’ll probably go out and buy a bottle of the 10 yo tonight.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. In Spiritu Veritas

      I think this is a sport where it is much safer to be an amateur…

      I wish Prices where I hung out were as reasonable. Though I did get the Cairdeas for 100 dollars, everything else (where available) is more expensive. Thanks for listing that though. Great to compare!

    2. Brent

      It’s quite fascinating to look at prices across the country and between your own local market and the U.S. Like Canada, the U.S. is remarkably variable in pricing as well. Washington State for example is horrendous due to the taxation (around 20%), Florida is ok for a few things but not many. Minnnesota though tends to be very good for many different types of Scotch and downright spectacular for some.

      Along the lines of Jeff’s thinking for value I find myself largely purchasing on a value based system. With the tumble in the CAD that system has altered. Where I was willing to spend $100 or more in the U.S. I’m afraid I simply won’t do that now given the current exchange rate. It makes many previously reasonable products quite comparable to what I pay at home and those I don’t consider good value. I know there aren’t all that many Oban fans here (and for good reasons) but I still enjoy the 14 and 15DE but prices are horrendous for the most part in Canada. Minneapolis? $56 and $63 respectively. Would I buy the DE at around $160 in Alberta? Nope, horrible value. The 14 for $150 after taxes in Manitoba? Nope, not a chance. So my lines shift depending on pricing.

      I don’t know how it is for you folks, but here in MB the pricing is entirely arbitrary depending on popularity and availability. I suppose that makes sense but I find most of what is available locally outrageous. But sometimes it surprises you too:

      QC: $73
      10: $76
      Triple wood: $90
      15: NA
      Cairdeas: $100 (2015/2016 both available)
      Lore: $199

      Keep in mind though we tack on another 13% onto those prices.

    1. Jeff

      Of what’s out there – within economic reach – the CS 10 is something that I’d really like to try. How does it stack up to the Lag 12 CS?


      1. Ol' Jas

        Based only on memory, I’d say the that Laphroaig 10 CS is beefier, richer, and more powerful than Lagavulin 12. In my memory, Lagavulin 12 is cleaner and zippier. Both are very good, but I prefer the Laphroaig. I know some people think the Laphroaig has too much oak, but it’s never struck me that way (and I do feel that over-oakiness in the QC).

        This is based on my going through multiple (3? 4?) bottles of Laphroaig 10 CS over the past few years, but only one Lagavulin 12 (2014).

        And when the Laphroaig is half the price, as it is in the US, it’s a no-brainer. I know I’m repeating myself from elsewhere on the whisky web, but I’m confident calling Laphroaig 10 CS the best damn whisky on the market, all things (including price) considered.

      2. Chris 1

        I have only ever had a couple of small tastes of the Lag 12, but I would say the flavour profiles of that one and the Laphroaig 10 CS are quite different; ;both spectacular, but different.


      3. David

        Agreed… Both powerful, both very different.

        I have to say the Laphroaig 10 CS tasted best the first time I opened it (out of 2 times), and I think it’s because I was sharing it with a couple of friends, and the second time I was just reviewing it…

        1. Ol' Jas

          Skeptic, I made a reply here this morning that as of now (afternoon of Thursday 6/15) is still “awaiting moderation.” It was a response to your provocation (if I can call it that), which I don’t really think is going to accomplish anything. Maybe if ATW sees this, he can decline to post it.

          Instead, I’d like to ask: What is the point of your message?

          Do you want my sympathy for your lack of Laphroaig 10 CS? You got it.

          1. ATW Post author

            It’s weird, mate. Your comments are the only ones that await moderation. No idea why. I have to approve them all individually. No one else has the same issue. Strange.

          2. Ol' Jas

            ATW: Wow, that is weird. Maybe it’s your American sensor doing its job. 🙂

            For what it’s worth, I think a number of my posts a few weeks ago never went live. They were from a stretch where I discovered that your site has a not-that-obvious “Older Entries” at the bottom of the page when you click a link to view, say, all of the posts about Lagavulin. I was reading quite a few older posts that I probably missed the first time around, and I couldn’t help but comment on a few, no matter how dated they might have been. The comments never appeared on the pages nor on the “Recent Posts” list, which I check pretty regularly to catch all the fun debate on here.

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