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Laphroaig 10 vs Laphroaig 16: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Laphroaig 10 vs Laphroaig 16 in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Laphroaig 10

NoseSmoke, caramel, oak, coffee
PalateCharred oak, smoke, chocolate, honey, iodine
FinishSmoke, caramel
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toQuarter Cask, Ardbeg 10, Select

Laphroaig is an Islay Whisky, these whiskies are famous for their fiery smoky character.

This whisky does not smell nice as it offers a burnt 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.

This whisky is one of the best 10 year Scotch Whiskies you can buy today!

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 16

NoseSmoke, lime, salt
PalateSmoke, ripe fruit, seaweed
FinishSmoke, citrus, earth
Alcohol content96 proof (48% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toLagavulin 16

A reliable rule of thumb states that as aging lengthens whisky becomes less smoky and this is the case with the Laphroaig 16.

Laphroaig 16 is peaty but not as challenging as the 10 YO as the 6 additional years in the barrel subdued the smoke letting you appreciate fruity flavors better.

The nose kicks-off with smoke followed by hints of lime along a mineral note.

On the palate, Laphroaig 16 delivers a pleasant smoke note, that gives way to ripe fruit and a light seaweed note.

The finish lingers with very little warmth, with notes of smoke, citrus, along an earthy note.

This release was launched as a limited edition to celebrate Laphroaig 200th anniversary but has become a regular in the line-up.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Laphroaig 16:

  • Aged for 16 years using ex-bourbon barrels.
  • This whisky was not chill-filtered, this is a common practice among the industry as it prevents the liquid from becoming hazy, but some purists assure that the filtering also removes precious tasting notes from the dram.
  • The Laphroaig distillery was established 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.
  • The brand is owned by Beam Suntory.

Laphroaig 10 vs 16: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Laphroaig 10$47
Laphroaig 16$140

Laphroaig 10 vs Laphroaig 16: Which is better?

The 16 YO is an easier drinker

  • The 16 YO is the refined sibling, better rounded and less smoky than the 10 YO but not necessarily better as it lost some of the character and rich medicinal note.
  • The 10 YO smells ugly, has a rubber note and some Band-Aid note but it is a heck of a dram at an unbeatable price.
  • Laphroaig 10 is a demanding malt that I’m not expecting you to like on the first date. But if you show some perseverance you will be highly rewarded.

If you want to learn more about the Laphroaig line-up read my post: Discover the Best Laphroaig Whisky.

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