...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Laphroaig like there's no tomorrow

So this happened:
Photo courtesy of the great Bino Gopal
Last Sunday at Beckham Grill with the LA Scotch Club, we embraced the Laphroaig Vertical.

Laphroaig 10 year
Laphroaig 10 year Cask Strength Batch 003
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Laphroaig Triple Wood
Laphroaig PX Cask (Duty Free only)
Laphroaig 15 year
Laphroaig Cairdeas Origin
Laphroaig 18 year
Laphroaig 21 year Cask Strength
Laphroaig 25 year Cask Strength
Laphroaig 30 year
Laphroaig 40 year

Dios mio, that list looks even crazier in hindsight.  I took my samples of the 30 and 40 home for a quiet private tasting.  Plus I secured samples of my three new favorites from the above list so that I might provide full reporting.

In the meantime, in honor of Repeal Day, I will present my recap in corrupted haiku form:

Thanks Brandon Bartlett
Ye Protector of the Peat
(I won some glassware!)

Maker's Mark barrels
Big smoke on the malting floor
Beam's Islay spirit

Laphroaig 10 year
Old wet cigarettes
Molasses and salty peat
Meet my new old friend

Laphroaig 10 year Cask Strength Batch 003
Cherries peat and brine
Early morning bakery
Brown sugar and cream

Tremendous finish
Acres of Port Ellen smoke
Needs time, serve it neat

Laphroaig Quarter Cask
My bottle's open
But I'll always embrace more
Sweet and bitter this

Long lingering, bright
Anise, brown-sugar-wrapped peat smoke
A grand autumn malt

Laphroaig Triple Wood
Dried fruits and ripe fruits
Loads of peat and tobacco
Bitter in the mouth

Laphroaig PX Cask
Find anise and tar
Wrap it in salty sherry
Sell it duty free

Laphroaig 15 year
Young Ardbeg at best
Dare I ask, Who will miss you?
Stay in the barrel

Laphroaig Cairdeas Origin
Keer-dass or Kar-chiss?
Either way, a lovely thing
Cairdeas means friendship

Vanilla choc'late
Salty nutty peaty moss
Handshake and a hug

Laphroaig 18 year
Least peated of all
Or so my palate tells me
Cantaloupe mint brine

Wood smoke, still has zip
Molasses-ed lengthy finish
Not loved, don't mind it

Laphroaig 21 year Cask Strength
Single Malt Report?
This is fucking delicious.
You want to know more?

Think peated cognac
Coconut, candied white fruit
Vanillins in love

Laphroaig 25 year Cask Strength
Dry with light flowers
Coffee grounds, slightly sour
Leathery lovely

Laphroaig 30 year and 40 year
Who knows what awaits?
What have the angels stolen?
Time and oak, we wait


  1. Michael, you are one lucky man! The only thing better than the tasting would be to have those bottles in your collection. I have 5 of the 12, and I feel that my life is, if not complete, pretty damn good!

    1. Your collection is tremendous, good sir. I doubt I'll ever own more than three of these. One can always dream though!

    2. Well, you don't seem to care much about the 18yo anyway... It would taste very differently *outside* a Laphroaig lineup. You can't drink anything after a Laphroaig - and that includes another Laphroaig :)
      I must say, after getting a taste for the 10yo CS I don't much care for the regular 10yo -not the first time someone tasting the forbidden fruit got banished from heaven...

    3. You're right about the 18yr, that it would taste much differently in other circumstances. It is more graceful than most of the others in the range. I think something about the lumbering powerhouse of their younger malts appeals more to me at this point in time. But my tastes do change, even within a year.

    4. Can't blame you, Michael. If I had to go on a desert island and I could only bring one Laphroaig, it would probably be the 10yo cask strength... I shudder at the thought, though! Can I also bring along a Glenlivet Nadurra please? :)

    5. Some proper mischief could be created between those two malts...

  2. I utterly seethe with jealousy and, simultaneously, admiration. A beautiful, lyrical, and completely fantastic post about a tasting that I sorely wish I could have participated in...

    1. Thanks, Josh! I wish you would have been there too! :) I'm still processing the whole experience.