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Smokehead vs Laphroaig 10: Discover the Better!

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

Smokehead Islay Single Malt

smokehead-islay-single-malt
  • Nose: Smoke, orange, caramel.
  • Palate: Smoke, honey, rubber, charcoal, mineral.
  • Finish: Short to medium, smoke, pepper, caramel.

The nose offers smoke up-front but as you let it breathe it gives way to hints of orange and caramel.

On the palate, Smokehead feels a bit thin lacking in body. Flavor is moderately smoky at first, followed by honey sweetness, along a note of burnt rubber, charcoal and just a bit of the mineral note of Islay whiskies.

The finish has a decent length, with more faint smoke to it, along some barrel spice and a touch of caramel.

Islay (pronounced “ai-luh”) is a tiny island west of Scotland in which most of its population is involved in whisky production as it’s home of brands such as Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, among others.

Islay Whisky is famous for fiery, heavily smoky single malts better suited for experienced aficionados.

Smokehead is neither fiery nor heavily smoked. This is a sweet whisky, restrained on the smoke and attractively priced making a good option for those who are curious about this type of whisky.

Learn how it compares to the Ardbeg 10!

There are a few facts worth knowing about Smokehead Single Malt:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Smokehead is sourced from an undisclosed Islay distillery.

Laphroaig 10

laphroaig-10
  • Nose: Smoke, caramel, oak, coffee.
  • Palate: Full-bodied, charred oak, smoke, chocolate, honey, vanilla, iodine.
  • Finish: Long, smoke, toffee.

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 whiskies and bourbons that you can buy!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • 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.

Smokehead vs Laphroaig: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Smokehead Islay Single Malt$56
Laphroaig 10$64

Smokehead Islay Single Malt vs Laphroaig 10: Which is better?

Smokehead is lighter on the smoke than Laphroaig

WhiskeySmokeheadLaphroaig 10
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • If you are new to this type of whisky you’ll be better served with the Smokehead which is much easier to drink.

  • Laphroaig is a more complex and rewarding whisky but you don’t want to get baptized into smoky whisky with it. This whisky is an acquired taste that demands time and persistence to truly appreciate.

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