Zum Inhalt springen


scotchodysseyblog.com
scotchodysseyblog


Laphroaig

I know, I know; it is quite a cliched view of Laphroaig. But you can see why, can't you? I had to find the vantage point from which those photos were taken.

I know, I know; it is quite a cliched view of Laphroaig. But you can see why, can't you? I had to find the vantage point from which those photos were taken.

Port Ellen, Islay, Argyll, PA42 7DU, 01496 302418. Beam Global. www.laphroaig.com

APPEARANCE AND LOCATION:      *****      You would have to construct your case methodically and passionately for another distillery to replace this one as the most gorgeous in Scotland. That said, Lagavulin and Ardbeg do come close. Its siting on a spit of land into the Atlantic (you can see Northern Ireland on a clear day, which Friday 14th of May certainly became) with its little sandy beach in front of its own stridently-painted warehouse front is simply lovely. The south coast of Islay is a deeply dramatic place: sea and rock collide, often with shrapnel sprinkled in the shallows. Behind the distilleries are rising hills of more rock and short grass. The peat fields are further in-land.

TOURS PROVIDED:

‘Standard Tour’: £3. See ‘My Tour’ below.

‘Source, Peat, Malt Tour’: £20. This two hour tour is a must for those who want to see how the “most richly-flavoured” single malt combines land and water to produce the legendary dram. There is a hike to the Kilbride Dam, Laphroaig’s water source, where you are given a dram, I believe of the Quarter Cask. You are then driven to the distillery’s peat bogs near the airport, where you receive the 10YO Cask Strength, and then it is back to the distillery and the floor maltings where you are given a third expression of Laphroaig. Six persons max, for this tour and book in advance. Tuesday and Thursday at 9AM.

‘Tutored Tastings’: (Standard): £10. Four Laphroaigs: 10YO, 10YO Cask Strength, 18YO and the Quarter Cask. (Premium): £25. Three old and rare Laphroaigs in addition to the standard 10YO.

NB: You can become a Friend of Laphroaig, which involves your taking the flag of your nationality onto the field at the back of the distillery and plotting out your own square foot of Islay, which is now yours. Every time you return to the distillery you can “collect your rent” for that piece of land, as well as make use of the Friends of Laphroaig lounge. Special bottlings for the Friends also appear from time to time.

DISTILLERY-EXCLUSIVE BOTTLINGS:      N/A – you just have to be one of the lucky ones there for the festival.

My Tour – 14/05/2010

THE RUNNING COMMENTARY:      **

THE PROCESS AND EQUIPMENT:      **1/2

Notes:      My second day and my second malting floor. The ones at Laphroaig are very light and airy, and we had the opportunity to stand in one of the empty kilns. It is astonishing how soot-blackened all of the beams were, and how fine the metal mesh floor. The smell of cereals was just delicious, too. This was one of the most interactive tours of the whole trip, during which we (and there were many of us) were encouraged to stick our fingers in as many things as possible (in a whisky-making context, you understand). While we were in the maltings we were asked if anyone wanted to take home a bag of Laphroaig malted barley. Some people do. I would have done, but I didn’t want to arrive home with grain throughout my panniers. We enjoyed another taste of the wash: richer, fuller and fruitier than Caol Ila’s; we could dip a finger in to the stream of low wines tumbling through the spirit safe, and stick a digit into the bung hole of a newly-filled cask of Laphroaig spirit. This earns them an extra half a star. This last lucky dip was in the filling store, not the warehouse, sadly. That being said, the smell of fresh Bourbon wood was intoxicating. It was just as well there wasn’t a warehouse visit as part of the tour, because I might have had to miss it so late was I in getting to Lagavulin. Danielle was anxious that I should enjoy my dram of Quarter Cask so phoned them up on my behalf.Laphroaig Maltings

GENEROSITY:      * (1 dram)

VALUE FOR MONEY:      **

SCORE:      7.5/10 *s

COMMENT:      Now this is what I call a proper distillery tour, from a proper distillery. The site, as I have mentioned, is beautiful and the smells playing about the buildings are simply magical. The shop (and before too long there will be an exhibition space; building was going on while I was there) is housed in the lower level of the maltings, looking out onto Laphroaig bay. Never have I seen so many photographs taken of a wall: everyone was standing before the sea-facing warehouse, smiling for a camera.

The crucial, famous quarter casks. I can attest that they make quite a difference. The dram I had after the tour was quite astonishing.

The crucial, famous quarter casks. I can attest that they make quite a difference. The dram I had after the tour was quite astonishing.

The tour is highly involving and I could not fail to pick up on what makes Laphroaig what it is because Danielle could really project her voice. You could be standing by the working mill, deaf in one ear and still hear that they only use 1.5 tonnes of peat a week. It is obviously a finite resource and all distilleries that kiln their own malt do their best to use this natural product sparingly, without compromising on flavour. 99% of the casks used are ex-Maker’s Mark and are only used for one fill of Laphroaig. Outside in the yard we could see the peat shed, as well as used quarter casks. They are very dinky indeed, especially when seen beside the butts and puncheons.

« Bunnahabhain – Lagavulin »

Author:
saxon
Date:
May 30, 2010 um 9:41 am
Category:
The Tours
Tags:
, ,  
Trackback:
Trackback URI

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Kommentar-RSS: RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment