The King of Peat: Laphroaig 10

IMG_6785The aromas of crackling campfires and salty sea air rise up out of the glass as the dram swirls in your hand. As the first waves of its potent bouquet wash over you, there is no denying there is something different and special about this glorious dram. Buckle up and put your drinking shoes on because you’ll need to prepare yourself for this stunning assault on your senses.

Laphroaig 10 is born from the rugged Southern coast of Scotland on an island called Islay. The wet air and damp coastal conditions call for the whisky makers in this region to roast their malted barely a little longer over their peat-fueled fire. This extra kiss of peat gives the region its distinctive smoky flavor and no where is it more apparent than in the Laphroig 10.

 

As the defining characteristic of this layered IMG_6784whisky, the peat not only imparts its telltale roasted flavor, but also highlights the tradition and craft that shines through with every sip. While the Laphroaig distillery has garnished countless awards and accolades over their history, no other endorsement has been more prominant than the Royal Warrant issued by Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay. If an edict from royalty doesn’t impress you then maybe you better stick to diet soda.

Once you pour yourself a hefty dram, you’ll find that every sip is filled with 200 years of continuous uncompromising attention to detail. The 10 year old expression is filled with smoky notes that dominate the sip. As the peat mellows out on the palate sweet citrus and toasted nuts begin to pop up. The secondary profile serves as a stunning balance to the punch-you-in-the-face-and-you’re-going-to-LOVE-it peat presence.

 

As the bourbon boom gains momentum the focus on Scotch has fallen by the wayside. This storied spirit is often chalked up to being reserved for rich old men or single malt snobs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whisky comes from the ancient Gaelic word uisce/uisge , translating roughly into  “water of life”, and having explored the liquid libation quite extensively, I could not describe it better myself.

The roots of the whisky craft in Scotland run as deep as the rich greens of the rolling glens. Laphroaig 10 usually runs around $45 and is the perfect gateway whisky to the unique region of Islay. As I proclaim Laphroaig 10 the King Of Peat, let me make one or two sidebars here. The Laphroaig is not the most peated whisky you can find, but it set the bar for a style and for its balance. While you can search limited edition bottlings and far more expensive offerings that taste like smoke in a glass, the Laphroaig 10 brings balance to the potency.

So here it is…

Laphroaig 10 will not apologize for being bold and brash. Laphroaig 10 does not start the party, he is the friend who comes in and pushes it to 11. One louder. Laphroaig 10 is the closer to seal the win. Your palate will never be the same after you give yourself over to the Peat side.

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