Cast your mind back to that moment you first tried whisky. You…well, you didn’t quite love it, did you? Even for longtime whisky lovers, the indelibly robust, pungent, and smoky Laphroaig 10-year can also be an acquired taste. But once that taste is acquired, this is an uncommonly rewarding spirit.
Distilled on Islay, the southernmost island of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, Laphroaig is a heavily peated single malt, using only peat from the tiny sea-sprayed island, which gives the whisky a startlingly bold one-two punch of smoke and sea, with a hint of sweetness. If you’re looking for a last minute gift, and are sick of the same old same old, it can be a great choice. We cracked open a bottle to see what a few of the uninitiated members of the team had to say.
“Tastes like I drank a bonfire!” said assistant footwear buyer Alex Steege. “Surprisingly, it was smooth going down. It was a drink I would love to sip on at a cabin in the winter time.” Kevin Vanasse, who works in marketing, “could not get the taste out of my mouth — which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.” “It was very smoky, very smooth, and unlike anything I’ve tasted before,” said merchandising assistant Saba Kahassai, while fellow MA Mike Jagodzinski said that “after the first sip I could imagine myself sitting on the coast of Islay enjoying a bottle.” Merchandising director Matt Orosco may have framed it best: “If I were a tweed wearing, pipe smoking type, I’d drink it in volume by the fire, but as someone with a preference for white wine and tequila, I’m more likely to have a snifter of Laphroaig at the very, very end of the night.”
Laphroiag 10 year, $42.99, widely available.