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Laphroaig 10 vs Cask Strength: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Laphroaig 10 vs Laphroaig Cask Strength In this head to head comparison and decide which 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 toArdbeg 10, Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Laphroaig is an Islay Whisky, these whiskies are famous for their fiery smoky character that you either love or hate.

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 old liquors 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 10 Cask Strength

NoseSmoke, leather, bacon, mineral
PalateSmoke, caramel, honey, ash, bacon
FinishSmoke, caramel
Alcohol content116 proof (58% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toArdbeg Uigeadail

The Cask Strength is the same whiskey as the 10 year just that this one is bottled at cask strength, meaning it was not diluted with water when pulled from the barrel.

The result is a thicker whisky, more flavorful and robust, warmer, with the same level of smoke.

The nose is smoky and ashy at first, with hints of leather and bacon, with a rich mineral note.

On the palate, the Cask Strength feels creamy providing a nice mouthfeel. First sip is pleasantly warm yet much smoother than what the high proof might suggest.

Flavor hits with smoke, that gives way to caramel and honey along a rich bacon-like note.

The finish is long, with strong notes of peat, vanilla and honey.

This whisky is flavorful and strong, yet incredibly smooth for something bottled at cask strength providing a solid experience.

It drinks nicely neat but it becomes even better when when adding a dash of water. Just a splash of water is enough to release more sweet tasting notes adding depth and complexity to the Quarter Cask.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Cask Strength:

  • This whisky is barrier filtered as opposed to chill-filtered before bottling. Barrier filtering preserves the flavors and rich, oily texture of the whisky while removing any remaining sediment.
  • Aged in bourbon barrels.
  • The Whisky Magazine awarded the Cask Strength as “Best Single Malt in the World”.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Laphroaig 10 $47
Laphroaig Cask Strength$90

Laphroaig 10 vs Laphroaig Cask Strength: Which is better?

Quarter Cask is the 10 Year on steroids

WhiskeyLaphroaig 10Cask Strength
  • The Cask Strength is supremely good and a great whisky for those who want a high proof whisky that is still drinkable.
  • Cask Strength offers most of the tasting notes of the 10 Year but better in every way as being bottled without dilution provides a more intense experience.
  • The level of smoke in these whiskies is the same.


The story of Laphroaig (luh·froyg) is something worth to share over drinks. In 1815, the Johnston brothers leased 1,000 acres of land on the island of Islay with the intention of raising cattle.

Following a particularly generous harvest of barley used to feed the animals, the Johnstons distilled the excess grains they had grown into whisky, and sold it to the inhabitants of the island.

Shortly after, the brothers found themselves totally immersed in whisky production with no intention to raise cattle again.

The company is currently owned by Beam Suntory from Japan who also holds brands such as Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.

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