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David WishartWe try and keep an interesting mix of non-chill filtered whiskies and we are deeply indebted to David Wishart whose book Whisky Classified comes highly recommended and has allowed us to use his notes to add more detail to each whisky description. The book is available from behind the bar and you're welcome to have a look.  It details whisky from the perspective of flavour and not area, it also helps you choose a single malt whisky that suits your palate, not someone else's! Have a read and you'll understand the letters (in brackets) after each whisky from Tullibardine (A) to Ardbeg (J)!

The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they taste. Many distilleries today can produce a variety of flavours, peatiness (or lack of it) and this book guides the reader through the process.

How do you drink yours?  Everyone's preference differs, personally I choose to add a drop of water to release the esters that would otherwise never surface and so enjoy a fuller and flavoursome experience.  I wouldn't add ice as that clouds the taste buds and drinking a neat 46%abv+ whisky is not for me.  I'll not take issue with how you like yours though!  Steve

Laphroaig 10yo Cask (J) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had


Laphroaig were awarded Best Single Malt in the World in 2005 by Whisky Magazine, Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is bottled at natural distillery strength with all the depth of genuine taste and texture normally associated with sampling whisky at source.

Matured in seasoned oak barrels, charred before filling to impart a slight sweet vanilla nuttiness. Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is barrier-filtered only just, to remove the small char particles present. This means you will enjoy Laphroaig exactly as it was made. In extremes of temperature and when you add water it may appear a little cloudy - this is the natural condition of a malt of such a peaty pungence and uncompromising purity.

Adding a little water releases a rich aroma of peat smoke with some sweetness and strong hints of the sea.

Laphroaig reccomend that you add twice as much water as whisky to fully appreciate the taste characteristics of Original Cask Strength Laphroiag. Whisky at cask strength may overpower the palate, but adding water will release the rich aroma of peat smoke with some sweetness and strong hints of the sea.

There is more detail on this story here and it'll also tell you why this whisky has won so many awards!

COLOUR : Rich deep gold

NOSE: Very powerful, "medicine", smoke, seaweed and ozone characters overlaying a sweetness

BODY: Full and strong

PALATE: A massive peated burst of flavour with hints of sweetness at the end

FINISH: Long and savoury

Click READ MORE for our tasting notes...

The following tasting notes by David Wishart...

Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength (Batch 004 Jan 12)


Bottled By: Producer

Region: Islay

Distillery: Laphroaig

Age: 10 years old

Strength: 58.3% vol

Chill Filtered: No

Cask: Matured in conventional American ex-bourbon barrels.

Nose:Aromatic, antiseptic, seaweed and ozone.

Taste:Medium-bodied, creamy with toffee, salt and pepper, strongly peaty and spicy.

Finish:Long, satisfyingly smoky ending.

Note: A really mouth-filling sensational malt for peat lovers.

Tasting for Whisky Analyst 4.

David Wishart


Body bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Sweetness bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Smoky bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Medicinal bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Tobacco bellcolourtiny.jpg
Honey bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Spicy bellcolourtiny.jpg
Winey bellcolourtiny.jpg
Nutty bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Malty bellcolourtiny.jpg
Fruity bellcolourtiny.jpg
From Whisky Classified
& Whisky Analyst

Laphroaig is Gaelic for "the beautiful hollow by the broad bay" and on a sunny day it truly lives up to its
name. It was first licensed in 1815 to farmers Donald and Alex Johnston at a remote spot on the windswept
southern coast of Islay, although it is rumoured that they were previously making illicit whisky for many

Its neat Victorian stone buildings seem almost to challenge the elements - white-washed granite walls with
orderly rows of black-framed windows, twin pagoda-topped kilns, and warehouses that announce "
LAPHROAIG" in tall bold letters that face defiantly towards the north Atlantic.

Laphroaig is made by first steeping the barley in soft, peaty Islay water and allowing it to germinate, which
involves raking and turning it by hand on the malting floor for six days. The germinated barley is then dried
in a swirling peat fire, and it's the smoke from this pungent Islay peat that gives Laphroaig its distinctive "
peaty reek" character. Being at the mercy of the elements, the spray from the sea not only showers the
land with salt but also with seaweed. It is this combination of heather, mosses and seaweed in the peat that
gives Laphroaig the salty, marine character which is prized so highly.

After distillation the whisky is matured in first-fill Kentucky oak casks, racked in the maturation sheds on the
seashore. Here it is washed by the cool, salty/seaweed Atlantic wind, and on a stormy night the sea has
been known to enter the sheds, swirling beneath the barrels. It's no surprise, therefore, that Laphroaig's
unique, peaty taste also carries a strong hint of iodine and sharp, salty Atlantic air.

It is styled "the definitive Islay malt whisky" because it epitomises the taste of Islay - rich, smoky, peaty and
full of character. It is a whisky that releases the pungent, earthy aroma of blue peat smoke, the sweet
nuttiness of the barley and the delicate, heathery perfume of Islay's streams.

Laphroaig is definitely an acquired taste, but one shared by HRH Prince of Wales who awarded Laphroaig
his Royal Warrant in 1994 and commissions his own "Highgrove" and "Duke of Rothesay" Laphroaig

Water is drawn from Loch Kilbride, having run over heather-clad granite hills and through acres of peat
bogs. The distillery operates original floor maltings and peat kiln, a stainless steel Lauter mash tun, 6
stainless steel washbacks, 3 wash stills, 3 small spirit stills and one larger one, to maintain the balance of

Laphroaig Single Islay Malt whisky is bottled at 10 ,15, 25, 30 and 40 years old, and at 10 years old cask-
strength, the latter non chill-filtered. Another edition that has proved very popular is Laphroaig Quarter Cask,
matured in tiny oak butts originally designed for smuggling whisky by packhorse. Being small, the oak
contributes more to the flavour which is smooth and delightfully creamy with less pungent peatyness.
The visitor centre is open all year round and offers tours, tastings and a shop. For those not able to get to
Islay, their website offers an excellent virtual distillery tour.

Devotees can join the "Friends of Laphroaig", which includes a free lifetime lease of a square-foot plot of
Islay, with annual rent paid in whisky at the distillery. Laphroaig now has over 230 thousand friends
worldwide and a very active website with offers of special editions. Many Friends make their annual
pilgrimage to Laphroaig, to visit their plots and claim their rent, and this community has inspired many
extraordinary events - two Friends were married here, a deceased Friend had his ashes scattered on his
plot, and another installed a miniature Japanese ceremonial garden.

Laphroaig Distillery
Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Argyll PA42 7DU
Tel. +(44) 01496 30 2418
Fax +(44) 01496 30 2496


keyDavid Wishart's book Whisky Classified details whisky from the perspective of flavour and not area, it also helps you choose a single malt whisky that suits your palate, not someone else's! 

The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they taste. Many distilleries today can produce a variety of flavours, peatiness (or lack of it) and this book guides the reader through the process.  The following is a key to the cluster groups used within the book and on our website.  If you lookup your own favourite whisky in th ebook and find what cluster it is in you are bound to find some equally enjoyable whiskies in the same and adjacent clusters that will suit your palate.  Here is a summary of the clusters...

A - Full bodied, sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, honey and spicy notes.
B - Full bodied, sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, floral and malty notes, some honey and spice evident.
C - Full bodied, medium sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, honey, nutty and smoky notes.
D - Quite full bodied and sweet, fruity, floral and nutty notes, fairly spicy, hint of smoke.honey and spicy notes.
E - Medium bodied, medium sweet with fruity, honey and winey notes, and a whiff of smoke and spice.
F - Quite full bodied, sweet and malty with fruity, spicy and smoky notes.
G - Light, sweet and honeyed, with floral, fruity and spicy notes, mostly unpeated, an aperitif style.
H - Very light, sweet and malty, fruity and floral, an aperitif style.
I - Medium bodied, medium sweet, quite smoky, some medicinal notes, spicy, fruity and nutty.
J - Full bodied, dry, pungent with peat smoke and medicinal notes, some spice, malt and fruit in the background and a hint of polished leather or libraries.

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