Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Review

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Review

The no-water-added cask strength brother of the mighty Laphroaig 10. Clocking in at a whopping 114.4 proof this bruiser of whisky is as close as you can get to tasting it straight from the barrel in the comfort of your own home. However this is not a single barrel. They still take a bunch of barrels and blend them together to create each batch (like Wild Turkey Rare Breed), they just don’t add any water to cut it down to the 43% ABV of the regular Laphroaig 10.

In addition to being cask strength it also seems to be non-chill filtered. Laphroaig doesn’t expressly state that it’s NCF, but they do say that “Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is barrier-filtered only just, to remove the small char particles present” which denotes that other filtering options could be in play. To know what that other filter option is we just need to look at the story behind the Quarter Cask which says “Finally it was decided to totally eliminate the process of ‘chill filtering’ as it had not been invented in the time of the Johnston Brothers”. So what does all that actually mean? Well its’s a pretty simple equation really. NCF + CS = You’re getting a lot more whisky for that $23 leap.

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Review

Batch: 005
Bottled: Feb 2013

ABV: 57.2%
Age: 10 years
Price: $66
Distiller: D. Johnston & Co. (Laphroaig)

EYE
Gold with a bit of orange

NOSE
Smoke comes first and it reminds me of a BBQ with it’s initial mesquite like quality. Peat and pear heavy orchard fruit follow in it’s wake and bring some malt, vanilla, orange rind and antiseptic along with them. This alone is creating a fantastic aroma, but add in the hints of briny seaweed that float across the bottom and it becomes a fantastically multi-faceted sniffing experience.

TASTE
PEAT comes marching through, leading a procession of vanilla, citrus, smoked meat, brine, smoky char, pear heavy orchard fruit, malt, honey, wood and baking spices. It’s an amazing cavalcade of flavor that delivers sip after sip.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Perfectly balanced with a thick full body, a rich oily feel and only a slight bite even at it’s full 114.4 proof.

FINISH
Smoky char partners up with some emerging dark fruit, orchard fruit, salt, wood, vanilla and mint to create a wonderfully long slow finish.

OVERALL
I enjoy this whisky and the way it’s myriad facets play off each other with savory, sweet, smoky and salty all working in tandem to create a very tasty dram. Adding a splash of water definitely kicks it up a notch, taking the whisky to another level with the smoke and peat vitally exploding from the glass and the sweet notes moving up several notches to keep in step. A deeper, richer, more complex version of the regular Laphroaig 10, but at 1 1/2 times the price it’s something I won’t be buying regularly, but definitely will be keeping a bottle around as an occasional companion to it’s daily drinkable sibling.

SCORE: 93/100

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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4 Responses to Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Review

  1. Did you actually have to buy this one Josh-bummer dude – at least it puts a more realistic hint on your review-after you add water the price comes out the same as the whisky goes further- an experience to get it cask strength for sure-but I agree with you as I prefer the 10 as LaPhroaig keeps it real with the prices and quality is pretty consistent-bravo to the distillers!

    • I did indeed buy this Brian 🙂 I buy, or trade for, a large portion of the whisky I review and if I get it from the distillery I always disclose it. Laphroaig 10 definitely keeps it real, that 10 is a crazy good value. Cheers man!

  2. Just finished up two bottles of Batch 4 which may have been my favorite Laphroaig of all time. Yes, it’s a bit young and has an edge, but it is so rich, full of flavors that go on and on and soooo well balanced. Delighted to find an affordable Laphroaig that is a top example of the form.

    So, I ran out and bought two more bottles of Cask Strength. But now what’s available is Batch 7. Far inferior! Harsh and with sharp edges to the end. What a disappointing shocker! Now, the bottles of Batch 4 that are still available cost a fortune.

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