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Bunnahabhain 12 vs Laphroaig 10: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Bunnahabhain 12 vs Laphroaig 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Bunnahabhain 12

Bunnahabhain-12
NoseLight smoke, raisin, prune, cocoa
PalateSherry, red fruit, oak spice
FinishMedium, nutty, oak spice
Alcohol content93 proof (46.3% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toCaol Ila 12, Oban 14

The nose offers a faint smoky note that gives way to hints of raisins, prunes and a touch of cocoa.

On the palate, Bunnahabhain provides a good mouthfeel as it feels creamy. Flavor is smooth and mostly sweet at first with notes of sherry and red fruit, giving way to a oak spice on the back on the back of the mouth becoming a bit bitter.

The finish has a medium length, with a nutty hint, with more oak spice to it providing a bitter touch.

Adding water makes the Bunnahabhain 12 better as it becomes sweeter while tuning down the oak spice making it more approachable.

Islay whiskies are famous for fiery, heavily peated whiskies, yet the Bunnahabhain is the least smoky whisky produced in the island, so it tastes more like a Speyside Whisky (Macallan or Glenlivet).

Good option for those who are yet to be baptized in smoky whisky and want to start with an overly easy drinker. Just make sure to add a dash of water to it as it improves widely.

Learn how it compares to the Bruichladdich!

There are a few facts worth knowing about Bunnahabhain 12:

  • Aged for a dozen years using 70% ex-bourbon barrels and 30% ex-sherry barrels.

  • This whisky is presented in natural color and was not chill-filtered.

  • Founded in 1881 near Port Askaig on Islay making the most remote distillery on Islay.

  • Owned by South Africa-based Distell.

Laphroaig 10

laphroaig-10
NoseSmoke, caramel, oak, coffee
PalateCharred oak, smoke, chocolate, honey, iodine
FinishSmoke, caramel
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toArdbeg 10, Lagavulin 8

Laphroaig does not smell nice as it offers a rubber note up-front along seaweed. There are also hints of smoke, caramel, oak and espresso coffee.

On the palate, you get a blast of smoke and oak char up-front. As you let it develop, it becomes remarkably sweet, rich in vanilla, caramel and chocolate.

Finish is long, smoky and mostly sweet with a rich mineral note to it and something that reminds of seaweed.

This single malt is a flavorful and intense whisky with a smoky character and some unique tasting notes that might be a bit intimidating for someone new to this type of whisky.

Laphroaig 10 is really good, but don’t expect to like it on the first date. It’s a bit demanding requiring at persistent drinker to fully appreciate it. But once you get acquainted with it it’s unlikely you will ever enjoy a lesser dram.

Laphroaig 10 ranks high among the best 10 year whiskeys that you can buy!

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Laphroaig where I rank every bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Aged for 10 years in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks.

  • Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

  • Named in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as 2019’s Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Years & Under.

  • Laphroaig Distillery was founded in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. It is named after the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island of Islay.

Bunnahabhain 12 vs Laphroaig 10: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Bunnahabhain 12$63
Laphroaig 10$64

Bunnahabhain 12 vs Laphroaig 10: Which is better?

The Bunny is an easier drinker

WhiskeyBunnahabhain 12Laphroaig 10
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Choose your warrior based on how much smoke are you willing to take.

  • Bunnahabhain 12 is the lightest whisky on the smoke from Islay while the Laphroaig is one of the heaviest.

  • Personally, I prefer the Laphroaig as I’m quite fond of smoky notes but this is an acquired taste that has to be developed over time.

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