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Laphroaig - Special Pricing - 11/03/2010 - Single Malt Scotch

The smoky flavors of Islay whisky have been running wild for the last few years, dominating the single malt market and making household names out of small distilleries. With all this hullabaloo about peated malts, one of the oldest and most respected names in Scotch whisky is looking to be even more aggressive with bold new pricing. Located on Islay's southern coast, Laphroaig has always been one of the smokiest, saltiest, and most delicious Island whiskies available, bringing to mind the sea-battered setting in which it is made. If you've ever been curious about the more charasmatic style of whisky, these new prices make experimenting a bit easier. (David Driscoll, K&L)

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Laphroaig 10 year old Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Elsewhere $40) ($29.99)

This 10 year old malt epitomizes the taste of Islay; rich, smoky and peaty. Known as "the most richly flavored of all Scotch whiskies," Laphroaig is widely considered one of the finest distilleries in the world. That they've held that distinction for two hundred years is nothing short of awe inspiring. Laphroaig continues to maintain an on-site malting operation, which accounts for a small but significant chunk of the barley that they distill. Fermentation is conducted precisely in steel before distillation using a complex seven still system. The spirit is almost always filled into ex-bourbon barrels. The resulting whisky is one of the world's great marvels, the confluence of natures bounty and human ingenuity. You may not like the way this whisky tastes, but you sure won't ever forget it. If you do accept the siren's call to this hollow by the bay, there's fortunately no going back.

Staff ImageJames Knight | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 25, 2014

Caution! And good news! True, we're trying to sell some single malt here, but to those customers who have not delved into peaty single malts much, I would counsel caution and/or patience, and here's why: I purchased the classic Laphroaig 10 early in my single malt rediscovery series...probably after the mellow Balvenie 12. Holy burning shoe leather! The level, and character of the peat is so serious, it almost made my eyes sting. So I left it alone for a long time, revisiting it from time to time. And eventually, I noticed the richness underneath. The sweet caramel. The seaweed. The beauty...of that burning shoe. By the last few drams, I was almost telling the Laphroaig 10 how sorry I was that I had misunderstood it...but I didn't have that many drams.

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Laphroaig 18 year old, Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($99.99)

90 points Whisky Advocate: "Very smooth for Laphroaig -- the extra aging has mellowed this whisky. Soothing honeyed malt, creamy vanilla, and toffee provide a bed for peat smoke, charcoal, and tar; along with more subtle brine, smoked seaweed, anise, ginger, and citrus. A gentler, creamier, more tactile, less medicinal Laphroaig when compared to some of its siblings. Will you prefer the new 18 year old to the 15 year old it is replacing? That depends. I enjoy the balance and subtle complexity of flavors with the 15 year old, but I also like the enhanced richness and mouth-coating creaminess of the 18. The higher strength (and no chill-filtering) of the 18 is certainly a bonus. (Side note: I know this is a moot point now, but I would like to have seen the 15 year old bottled at 48%, rather than 43%.)"