Islay distilleries explained thru Rock and Roll comparisons – Part 8 – Laphroaig and my review of a Chieftain’s Single Cask of Laphroaig

Islay distilleries and their whiskies explained through Rock and Roll – Part VIII (of VIII)

This is the end, my only friend, the end.

Yes, you guessed it.  Eight active distilleries on Islay, eight Islay/Rock Band comparisons by yours truly.

G-d damn. I am sad to see this series end.  Such is life and all things must pass.

There were many Laphroaigs I could have chosen for this final Islay/Rock Band review and to be honest, I’ve got enough of the hooch in house for me to have chosen from. However, I’ve never had a single cask of Laphroaig from the Chieftain’s range so I figured I’d ask for a sample and if I were lucky to enough to get one then, cool, I’d review that.

Thanks to the good folks at Impex, they’ve got a new Chieftain’s 14yo single cask of Laphroaig and they were nice enough to pour me a few cl to review.  Special thanks to SF & EK from Impex for the sample!

Before I review this Laphroaig, let’s cover what’s been reviewed in this series to date:

  1. Part one:Bruichladdich as The Sex Pistols
  2. Part two: Ardbeg as Slayer
  3. Part three: Caol Ila as The 80′s (They get their very own decade!)
  4. Part four:Bowmore as David Bowie
  5. Part five: Kilchoman as the Jackson Five (somewhat fitting, in retrospect, with them both bearing the number five).
  6. Part six: Bunnahabhain as R.E.M.
  7. Part seven: Lagavulin as Led Zeppelin

Today we’re reviewing:

Chieftain’s Single Cask Laphroaig, cask #4127, bottled at 46% ABV$?? to be announced.

On the nose  Tell tale Laphroaig peat, somehow a bit less dirty but surely Laphroaig peat.

Scratch the surface and we find a good deal of unripened fruits (banana strings, hard peach, crab apple).

I also get the sense of an ashtray minus the butts but all of the ash.

All of this being said, though it might not sound it, it *is* a bit of a delicate nose.

I’d be scared to add water to this, there is very little alcohol punch.

On the mouth Very sooty and stingy-like along the sides of my tongue.

Salted rhubarb and on hot linoleum counter.

Not-so-sweet star fruit and on the 2nd sip, I discover this has a really nice mouth feel.

Out of the blue, a floral/lavender-like note makes itself known (coming back to the nose and I discover it there as well).

Salted still and drying toward the finish…

Finish Drying, a touch of citrus and decent length.

In sum Not a bad little cask of whisky!  Based on the light color at 14 years of age, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I found a nice evolution from nose to palate to finish.  It’s an easy going whisky for the peat heads among us.  Not very challenging but very pleasing.  I’d suggest this one right after a snow storm and right before you start shoveling your driveway (if’n that applies to you). ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Laphroaig – The Band!

Comparing Laphroaig to a band was perhaps the toughest one of them all, hence my saving them for the last.  (Sorry grandpa, I know you always said to do the hard stuff first and save the easy stuff for last.  Note to self: I should have listened to you.)

So many bands came to mind.  I think of the dirty, gritty, filthy and delicious peat and I instantly think of The Melvins.  But, most people don’t know The Melvins.

However, there’s more to Laphroaig than just peat.  Their 30yo expression, a manly yet feminine and elegantly heavy dram makes me think of Into Another.  Like The Melvins, chances are, you’ve not heard of their awesomeness.

In the end, I have to admit, Laphroaig is a powerhouse whisky.  So, I’ve decided that you are Iggy Pop.  And, not just any Iggy Pop but Iggy from his 1973 “Raw Power” Record.  And not just any song on “Raw Power” but actually, Laphroaig, you are Iggy Pop’s “Search and Destroy”.  But not just any version of “Search and Destroy.”

With the often salty/briny character, you are “Search and Destroy” as heard/seen on the “Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” during the gun fight seen.:

So, congrats Laphroaig – you are RAW POWER.  You are Iggy Pop.  Thanks for playing!