Tag Archives: Laphroaig

Laphroaig for Father’s Day & Graduation

We recently received a feature request from the folks at DBC Public Relations for a Laphroaig feature leading up to Father’s Day and Graduations. Well we love Laphroaig over here at Whisk(e)y Apostle so it was a no-brainer. Over the next few days we will feature reviews of several expressions provided to us for review including:

  • Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength
  • Laphroaig Quarter Cask
  • Laphroaig Triple Wood
  • Laphroaig 18 Year

Again, in full disclosure we were provided the above bottles for review but that in no way impacts our reviews.  Additionally, we’ll pull an old bottle of Laphroaig 15 Year from the dusty Whisk(e)y Apostle bunker for comparison to the 18 Year that replaced it.   That one we paid for and sadly it’s the last one we have. 🙁

Laphroaig is spearheading their campaign with the cask strength expression of their 10 year old.  Here’s a little piece from them on gifting Laphroaig this season:

I wanted to share info on a great Scotch that dads and recent grads (21+ up!) will love.

  • Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength is a strong, peaty single malt Scotch bottled straight from the barrel and only barrier-filtered to remove remnants of American oak barrel char. Both fathers and graduates will appreciate the thoughtful gift of Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength – deserving Dads will be able to enjoy a classic and unforgettable Scotch, and Grads will be given the chance to start a worthy Scotch collection.
  • Your gift will also keep dads and grads in good company, considering that Laphroaig’s most famous patron is recognized by the distinctive coat of arms, which is proudly carried on every bottle. In 1994, HRH Prince Charles personally came to Laphroaig and gave his Royal Warrant — which is especially fitting for Laphroaig, as His Royal Highness is the present “Lord of the Isles.”
  • Lastly, you’ll be giving more than the world’s #1 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky! Each bottle of Laphroaig contains a lifelong gift: a unique code inside the bottle allows recipients to register as a Friend of Laphroaig and receive a lifetime lease on one square foot of land on the island of Islay, right next to the distillery.

Burns Night 2012

Ah Burns Night. For those of you not familiar it is the 25th of January. People gather to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, that greatest of Scottish bards. Scotch is drank, haggis is eaten, poetry is espoused, and many toasts are made. It is generally a fine time had by all. However, last night I got to experience Burns Night at Mac McGee. Those boys do a hell of a Burns Night. Simon Brooking was there with Laphroaig pouring their great whiskies. Mac McGee’s chef and sous chef made a fantastic meal. Seriously, I had no idea haggis could be that could. I could have eaten the whole damn thing!

It was a great night all around but I would like to give few specific shout outs. First, thank you to Simon for bringing the whisky. He truely is one of the best brand ambassadors of any whisky brand we are fortunate enough to have here in the United States. Second, as I mentioned before I want to give serious props to the chef and kitchen staff. You might want to consider putting that haggis on the menu! Third, a huge shout out to Casey Teague and the Mac McGee staff for organizing a great event. They are really making their watering hole a great whisky bar. If you haven’t been by yet you need to go. Finally, the two Scottish gentle providing the entertainment were amazing. Bagpipes and Burns poetry reading may not be for everyone but these two fellows were spectacular.

If you’re one of our twitter followers, you may have noticed I actually tried tweeting last night. I’m new at it so give me some time to hit my stride. It’s hard to eat, toast, drink, and tweet at the same time.

I never really need a reason to drink scotch but if I have one I won’t pass it up. I definitely won’t be passing up Burns Night anymore either.

Slainte!

Richard

Burns Night at Mac McGee

Do you have your plans laid out for Burns Night this year? Well, if you’re still open on Wednesday, January 25th then consider celebrating at Mac McGee with Laphroaig.

Come celebrate Scotland’s beloved poet Robert Burns with a night of poetry, Haggis and Laphroaig. The brilliant Simon Brookings from Laphroaig will be here presiding over the tasting dinner with verse and wit.

Our Chef Kyle Saylor has created a delectable traditional four course menu that has been carefully paired with each delicious Laphroaig all for $65. We will begin at 7:30pm with a welcome whisky Laphroaig 10yr. We are pre-selling seats to this event so please contact the pub to guarantee a spot. Slainte!

Burns Day Supper

1st
Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Laphroaig Quarter Cask

2nd
Haggis with Neeps and Tatties
Laphroaig Triple Wood

3rd
Smoked Goose, Waldorf Salad, Garlic Crisps
Laphroaig 18yr

4th
Treacle Tart
Laphroaig Cask Strength

If you’re interested please RVSP at 404-377-0850. Festivities start Wednesday, January 25 at 7:30 PM at Mac McGee Irish Pub 111 Sycamore St Decatur, GA 30030.

Laphroaig at Mac McGee’s

Last night my buddy Sam and I ventured over to Decatur for a Laphroaig tasting at Mac McGee’s led by the always entertaining Simon Brooking, Master Ambassador for Laphroaig and Ardmore. I post the coming events at Mac McGee’s whenever I hear about them but this was my first chance to actually go to one. Here are my impressions.

The Good
First, Mac McGee’s is a great bar with one of the best whiskey selections in town. It’s a quaint pub with a neighborhood feel and a good menu of beer, spirits, and food. This is the kind of bar everyone should have within walking distance of their home. For those in town it’s also right next to a transit rail station so the location couldn’t be better. I live in the suburbs of Atlanta and it killed me that there isn’t a place like this near my house. Great staff, great food, great drink, and great location, what else could you ask for?

Second, Simon and the Laphroaig were just great. Simon led us through a tasting of Ardmore Traditional, Laphroaig 10 Year, Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Laphroaig 18 Year, Laphroaig 25 Year, and Laphroaig Cask Strength while giving us healthy doses of knowledge, wit, humor, and song. This man was born for his job. On top of all that, Laphroaig provided everyone there with branded Glencairn glasses and hats. It was a very nice touch.

Third, the value couldn’t be beat unless it was free. For the six drams (normal bar pours on all accounts) they only charged $30 a head. That also included a chocolate truffle pairing for the last three whiskies. One of these was a bacon crusted chocolate truffle. Bacon…chocolate…and scotch, I thought I died and went to heaven.

The Bad
Two words…Time Management. The event was supposed to start at 6:00PM and they had a smaller event of local Laphroaig distributors at 5:30PM. Those guys didn’t finish leaving until 6:45 and we didn’t get started until almost 7:30PM due to technical difficulties with the media presentation. Things happen and you deal with them. I understand that. However, a one hour plus wait is a little bad form on Mac McGee’s part. Hopefully, that won’t be a repeat problem in the future.

All things considered it was a very nice event and I look forward to doing it again. My one regret is that I don’t live within walking distance of Mac McGee’s like some of the gentlemen I talked to at the bar.

Drink wisely my friends,

Richard

Whisky On The Hudson ‘09

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you already know that Thursday night was the Whisky Guild’s annual Whisky On The Hudson booze cruise.  You also know that I forgot my ticket and had to wrangle a new one (which makes this the most expensive tasting event I’ve ever attended.  Not the Guild’s fault, but there it is). Despite my ineptitude, Thursday turned out to be a really great night.  I schmoozed with industry insiders, helped turn other attendees on to new things, and most importantly I learned a lot.  I was even surprised a couple of times.

The boat was bigger this year, but the number of presenters was about the same, which made for a more comfortable socializing experience.  The down side was that things looked a little sparse for a while.  I decided to get the lay of the land first and to seek out some friends.  First I headed to a part of the boat where Glenmorangie had set up a little jazz club, where you could taste the whole line (including many Ardbeg’s) and relax a bit.  Of course, there was a mob around the Signet.  Even though I love Glenmorangie, I was on a mission (I grabbed some of the new Ardbeg Supernova on the way out though).  I didn’t want to be sidetracked.  However, I am easily sidetracked.

I found a boat map to help look for the William Grant & Sons tables.  I know I will find Dr. Whisky there.  On my way, I get turned around and end up talking Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery in Virginia.  Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky (hmm, he leaves out the ‘e’ even though it is an American Single Malt) is a pot stilled whisky that uses barley malted over apple and cherry wood.  I tried it last year and was not impressed, but a trusted source said that they have improved the product, so I was willing to give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised.  You can taste the influence of the fruit woods, but it does not come off as overly fruity.  It’s bold, round and balanced.  To sweeten the deal, Rick was also pouring an aged rye (containing both rye and his proprietary malted barley) and white dog* of both whiskies.  I’ve tried a lot of white dog in the past couple of months (it seems to be the it whisk(e)y these days).  I have to say, these were my favorites.  The malting process really smoothes out the rough edges commonly associated with white whisky.  The most interesting thing Rick has to offer is a box set that contains two bottles of the white whisky and a miniature charred oak barrel.  You can age your own whisky!  He had a second fill barrel there with five month old whisky.  It was different from the bottled stuff.  The wood was really bold.  This is a must have for any whisky nerd (like myself).  Here’s the rub.  Wasmund’s is only available in the D.C. area right now.  They are working on getting New York distribution, but the rest of the country is still without fruit wood malted single malt.

Once again, I was off to find Dr. Whisky.  He’s always good for a laugh and some quality information.  In route, I caught a glimpse of a Jefferson’s Reserve bottle.  “I wonder if they brought the Presidential Select,” I think to myself.  It’s not on the table.  I ask and they deliver.  Trey Zoeller, V.P. of Bourbon Operations for Castle Brands, comes over and we start talking about this whisky from the now defunct Stitzel-Weller distillery.  This is one of Malt Advocate’s “Must Buy” bourbons (but you already knew that).  It’s every thing John Hansell says it is (we’ll have a formal review someday).  As Trey and I reminisce about dead distilleries (we agree that the Hirsch <Michter’s> 16yo is superior to the 20yo), he tells me that he has another batch of this Stitzel-Weller bourbon that he plans to release next year as Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18yo.  I can’t wait.

Finally, I make it back to the Balvenie table where I find a bearded(!) Dr. Whisky pouring the entire Balvenie line.  We have a chat and I try the new 17yo (Madeira cask).  This is a good one folks.  I was a little disappointed with the Rum cask 17yo from last year.  The palate did not deliver on what the nose promised.  The Madeira 17yo is just the opposite.  The nose is a little weak and uninteresting, but it really delivers on flavor.  Later, I came back and tried the 21yo.  A very fine dram indeed.

Much of the remainder of the night was a flurry of schmoozing and tasting (I even ran into Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast).  I reacquainted myself with the Glenlivet 15yo (aged in virgin charred Limousin oak).  Limousin oak is used in Cognac barrels and is tricky to work with but it makes a damn fine whisky.  The 15yo is the only Glenlivet to use Limousin oak casks.  This specialty oak gives the whisky a richness and boldness that round out and compliment the sharp, fruity qualities common to Glenlivet.  This is smoother and richer than the standard expression.

I had the opportunity to try the PC6 and PC7 (both distilled at Bruichladdich).  These are both good drams with a fair amount of peat.  I prefer the PC6.

Dave Conroy of International Beverage Company, Inc., took me through his whiskies from Mull and Islay.  I don’t remember ever trying Bunnahabhain before and I think I would remember an unpeated Islay.  I liked it at every age.  There is a sweetness and complexity that I associate more with the mainland.  This is very approachable whisky.  Dave also introduced me to Tobermory and Ledaig (both from the Isle of Mull).  Really good stuff, the Ledaig especially is a must try for any peat lovers out there.

Other things that stood out for me that night were the Knappogue Castle 1995 Irish whisky, the Hibiki 12yo Blended Japanese whisky, Deanston 30yo, and Tuthilltown’s New York Whiskey.  However, the topper had to be the tasting lab led by Master Ambassador for Laphroaig, Simon Brooking.  We tasted peated barley, he lit a peat brick on fire, and each dram was accompanied by a song (or a joke) and a toast.  Simon is a real showman.  We tasted Ardmore 30yo (loved it), Laphroaig 10yo, Quarter Cask, 15yo, 18yo, and 25yo.  I really like the Quarter Cask (and the 25yo of course).  The 18yo is a new addition that will be replacing the 15yo.  They are very different whiskies, so if you are a fan of the 15yo, stock up.  Personally, I prefer the 15yo, but I seem to be among the minority in the critics’ circles.  Maybe I’ll have to give it another go in a less overwhelming setting.

So, that was my Whisky on the Hudson experience.  I’m already looking forward to next year.  The Whisky Guild does several of these events around the country each year.  You should check it out.

* “White dog” is a common term for whisky straight from the still (non-matured, no water added).  I’m not sure if Wasmund’s non-matured whisky is unwatered or not, but it is pretty high proof.

Drink well.  Drink responsibly.

-Matt