This turned into a week of age-stated official releases from distilleries in different whisky producing regions of Scotland. We began in Campbeltown on Monday with the Kilkerran 16, and continued in the Speyside on Wednesday with the Glenallachie 15. I liked the Kilkerran quite a bit more than the Glenallachie. Today’s whisky is the youngest of the lot and also the peatiest of the lot. We’re on Islay to close out the week with a Laphroaig. No, I have no idea why I’m going on like I’m narrating a History Channel documentary—maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Cunk on Earth, which is something I recommend you do as well. I don’t however recommend watching it while drinking a whisky, especially a high strength whisky like Batch 015 of the Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength. That’s how I watched the first two episodes and it almost killed me. But enough about me. I believe Batch 015 is the most recent batch of the Laphroaig 10 CS. But, as I readily admit, I don’t really keep up with these things any more. I do know that I never saw Batch 014 in Minnesota. Which means my reviews of this series is now missing both Batch 008 and Batch 014. If you have bottles of these and would be willing to share samples, please use the “Contact Me” link above. Alright, let’s get to the whisky.
Laphroaig 10 CS, Batch 015 (56.5%; from my own bottle)
Nose: Sweet and intensely phenolic smoke comes wafting out as I pour. A big hit of ink along with pork fat; there’s some cereals in there as well. Gets quite coastal as it sits with a fair bit of sea salt and some shells, and the smoke takes a drier turn. A few drops of water push the phenols back a fair bit and pull out some preserved lemon to go with the meaty notes.
Palate: Comes in as predicted by the nose and pretty much in that order; the salt expands dramatically as I swallow. Quite approachable at full strength with thick texture. With time a fair bit of lime emerges and melds nicely with the inky smoke. With water there’s less ink and more tar.
Finish: Long. The salt really comes out to play here. Develops as on the palate with time; less salty with water.
Comments: Not sure what Batch 014 is like but I like this a lot more than Batch 013. There’s more going on that just a big peaty assault—which is not to say that the peat is shy and retiring here. I look forward to seeing how it develops as it mellows with air in the bottle.
Rating: 87 points.