Top 20 Whiskies of 2018

#7 • Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 010)

  • Rank: 7
  • Year: 2018
  • Score: 93
  • Price: $70
  • ABV: 58%
  • Style: Single malt
  • Place of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Bottling at cask strength, with only ‘barrier filtering’ to remove particles of char, rather than the standard chill-filtration process, gives the whisky greater integrity, with heightened aromas and flavors, and a satisfyingly sinewy mouthfeel not found in the standard 10 year old. Classic ‘burning hospital’ notes feature on the nose, along with peaty malt, vanilla, lemon, and brine. Charcuterie and cocoa powder add to the effect on the palate, before phenolic, medicinal, and sweet malt notes bring things to a close. A must-have Laphroaig that represents a big step up in intensity. —Gavin D Smith