During the times while I am slowly draining my last bottle of Batch 010 which was absolutely one of my favorite batches so far and getting ready to open my newest in the series, Batch 011 these two samples were an excellent find. It will be fun to taste them side by side for sure...
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 006 (58.0%): This batch is bottled in early 2014.
Color: Deep yellow gold with sizable pearls around the glass eventually starting to roll down as oily and thick legs.
Nose: Engine oil, plastic band-aid strips and diesel fuel. Like riding in a small wooden fishing boat: Ocean spray, inboard engine fumes and fish skin. Roasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. A couple drops of water add chalk, clotted cream and wet hemp ropes.
Palate: Dry and ashy... Sea salt, fireplace ash and red pepper flakes. Vanilla, dry malt and chamomile tea. Cardboard boxes and salted butter after adding some water.
Finish: Long with white and black pepper, vanilla and sea salt. Char and ginger.
Overall: I am a fan of batches on the drier and more peppery side and this one does not disappoint. It is smoky, ashy and salty. Everything I am hoping for in any Laphroaig Cask Strength release.
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 007 (56.3%): And this one is from early 2015.
Color: Just a touch darker in color than Batch 006. Only noticeable when held together towards the light though. It also has thinner but more persistent legs.
Nose: Rich tea biscuits and vanilla. Toasted marshmallows, reminiscences of a bonfire and plastic food containers. Cake batter, sterile gauze pads and bunsen burner. Less medicinal and less coastal compared to Batch 006 but it is doughy and sweet instead. Oh, adding water actually was a big improvement, greener and more herbal now. Toasted fennel seeds, caraway seeds and juniper. Not to give ideas but if someone would come up with a peated cask aged gin it would nose pretty close to this.
Palate: This one has a sweet entry indeed... It is pretty herbal as well: Green Chartreuse, fresh rosemary leaves and cracked black peppercorns. After adding water sweet notes take over herbal ones. Corn muffins, eucalyptus drops and dried mint.
Finish: I am waiting it to fade out for minutes... This goes forever. Black pepper, ashtray references and charcoal.
Overall: I am glad that I tested them side by side. I remember liking this batch a lot back when it was released but now if I had to choose between these two I probably would go for Batch 006. Still, it is great batch regardless I admit that I am a big fan of Laphroaig Cask Strength releases. Amazing value, always available and although I prefer some batches over others I think I never tasted a single batch I really didn't like.