On the far edge of the Scotch whisky map, it's supposed that the art of distillation was first taken to Islay by Irish monks. Being remote, it’s an art that flourished in the hands of the islanders, whose illegal operations tested the resolve and means of the tax man. Eventually, the law relaxed and various whisky makers set up legitimate distilleries, among them a pair of farmers, Donald and Alexander Johnston, who in 1815 founded their distillery on the island’s south coast. Laphroaig is named after its location, ‘broad hollow by the bay.’
Laphroaig 10 Year Old is the original Laphroaig, distilled the same way today as when Ian Hunter invented it more than 75 years ago. It is the foundation of all other Laphroaig expressions. In making Laphroaig, malted barley is dried over a peat fire. The smoke from this peat, found only on Islay, gives Laphroaig its particularly rich flavour. Those enjoying the 10 Year Old will first notice the bold, smoky taste, followed by a hint of seaweed and a surprising sweetness.
The colour of this whisky is full and gold. The aromas encompass a huge amount of smoke, as well as being seaweedy and "medicinal", with a hint of sweetness. It is certainly full bodied on the palate. The flavours include surprising sweetness with hints of salt and layers of peatiness that linger into its long finish.