Laphroaig 10 Year Old | 43% abv (86 Proof), $39.99/bottle (Trader Joes)
Color/Appearance: A nice amber but we all know that there is colorant added, so does it really matter. With their place in the scotch world not sure why they would go this route. This is the classic scotch for peat freaks. Does that group really care about how much it looks like amber in the glass?
Nose: A sweet nose with the peat entering gently after a second as the medicinal aspect of the peat comes forth, idodine, spice and smoke here. Salty and super fresh.
Palate: To me this whisky defines the phenolic medicinal peat flavor more than any other. There is some smoke here but it is overcome with the earthy, dank, green taste of peat. This has such an in your face taste of peat that you can use it as a litmus test for peat enjoyment. But for those of us who love the peat, this is a great dram. This green medicinal taste that somehow invades your soul is expertly tempered with just the perfect amount of sweetness. For something so intense the balance here is amazing. Hopefully as my ability to expound upon what I am tasting expands I will more fully grasp the flavors I am experiencing but yet have no words for.
Finish: Balance of medicinal flavor leading to a smoky campfire on the beach. Salty, spicy, then peat peat peat peat…… On to infinity.
Overall: A baseline whisky and possibly the definition of peat for me. All peat heads probably have this in their collection or are on the way to get another bottle soon. I am looking forward to trying the cask strength version of this fine distillate. What this does so well is to have such intensity with the strong peat flavors balanced with a nice smooth malty sweetness. Achieving a clean pureness without the addition of sherry casks. A malt’s malt. Really do you know anything about peated scotch if you have not slipped quickly through a bottle of this. Oh and I just saw this at Trader Joes for $39 which also makes it the best value out there. World class at that price is basically not something you will find anywhere else.