For the first time, Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength has made its way to Canada. We’ve been kicking and screaming for this stuff for years, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Until now. But before you get excited and start thinking the levee has broken and we’ll soon be aflood in a lake of Leapfrog, think again. The volume of liquid we’re getting here seems to be akin to what you’d trap in a solar still in a Saharan survival situation. But I’m not going to moan on. Instead, I’ll be grateful for having tasted it and to be able to share a few notes that may help someone make an informed dram decision at some point.
I’ve tried a bunch of these batches over the years, though usually carried back from the distillery. If I’m being honest, I never leave Islay without a bottle or two in my bag, and to this day, I’ve not found a batch I didn’t like nor a bottle of it I didn’t mourn when it died. Batch 013 is no exception. Truly an elegant powerhouse. Like watching Shrek execute a pirouette. But in addition to all of the expected hallmarks of this expression, there seems to be a heavier farmyard-y note than usual. And that, friends, is right up my alley. So, yeah…it’s pretty much everything it’s cracked up to be.
Shame on you, Beam Suntory, for not having this here sooner and in greater quantity.
Batch 013. Bottled January 2021. Ex-Bourbon Barrels. 57.9% abv.
Nose: Farmyard. Iodine. Goopy tar. Cracked black peppercorns. All sorts o’ meds. Orange peel. A touch of mango as it opens. Lime. And lime candies. Smells a bit sherried, despite the declaration of being all ex-bourbon. Wet, almost rotty, hay. Cigar tobacco. Epoisse (fromage). Coke meets Root Beer meets Dr. Pepper. A bit of ‘stank’ here…in all the right ways. Palate: Rather dry arrival, then wham!…explodes in smoked and spicy juicy fruits. Candied fennel. Surprisingly firm malt behind it. Marmalade and a thread of black cherry. Salted fish. Horehound candy. Burnt pineapple. Finish: Long and stretchy as taffee. Apples soaked in wine (yes, there’s almost a slight wine-iness to the back end). Some sort of dental paste/putty. Finishes a bit dry. Great development. 89/100