Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength 2021 Batch 13 Description
This 2021 edition is bottled at 57.9% abv cask strength – the authentic way to experience the rugged nature of this Islay dram. Matured in charred ex-bourbon barrels which impart gentle vanilla and barbecue top notes, the palate is sweet and spicy showcasing burnt marshmallow, sea salt toffee, cinnamon stroopwafels and white pepper finishing in waves of rich Islay peat smoke.
History of Laphroaig 10 Year
Most Scottish distilleries (and most distilleries in general, for that matter) start as farm distilleries, using leftover grains that would otherwise go to waste to produce a more durable and desirable whiskey instead. Laphroaig (pronounced like “leap frog” but if you are Scottish and half a bottle of whiskey into the day) actually starts a little differently, with a pair of brothers named Donald and Alexander Johnston. They leased 1,000 acres to raise cattle on Islay in 1810 — but rather than buying their feed for their cattle, the brothers decided to grow their own barley, and the leftover surplus of barley after the cows were fed gave them the inspiration to start distilling it into whiskey.
Donald bought his brother out of the whiskey business in 1836, becoming the sole owner and distiller of Laphroaig for a mere eleven years before his untimely death in 1847 (reportedly by drowning in a vat of unfinished whiskey). His son Dugald inherited the distillery but, at only eleven years old, was too young to run the operation and relied on his uncle and another local farmer to run the distillery for him until he took over in 1857.
The distillery would continue to see success, primarily as a source of whiskey for blending but increasingly as a standalone name and single malt scotch producer. That rising popularity ruffled the feathers at the nearby Lagavulin distillery, who became increasingly jealous of Laphroaig’s success and effectively went to war. In 1907, the Lagavulin distillery tried to kill off Laphroaig by diverting their water source and choking it off, effectively shuttering the distillery until the courts intervened and made Lagavulin restore the original flow of water. That didn’t end things though, as Lagavulin then went to the trouble of exactly replicating Laphroaig’s still house to try and replicate their whiskey… but that didn’t result in the success they expected and the replica still was shuttered in 1962 to be turned into the new visitor’s center for Lagavulin.
Despite the unpleasantness with their neighbors, the Laphroaig distillery continued to see success and growth, especially under the watchful eye of Bessie Williamson, who led the distillery from 1954 to 1990. In 1994, the distillery was granted a Royal Warrant by Prince Charles, an honor that they continue to reflect by placing his coat of arms on the label of their bottle.
During this time, the distillery’s ownership transferred to a procession of Scottish distilling conglomerates, first to Long John International, then Allied Domecq, finally being sold in April 2014 to Beam Suntory as part of an acquisition deal of the parent company by Pernod Ricard. The Japan-based Beam Suntory remains the current owner of the distillery.