Scotch whisky isn’t for everyone, and that’s alright.
But I feel it’s a bit misunderstood.
In my view, scotch whisky is both classy and classic. You see it sipped neat or resting over one large sphere of ice, typically in the hands of a man such as Ron Burgundy. Scotch whisky also feels a bit exclusive, and to mix quality scotch with liqueurs, syrups, or fruit juices is almost taboo.
Now, enter Laphroaig (pronounced La-Froyg). If you’re not familiar with it, that’s normal considering you probably didn’t know how to pronounce it until a sentence ago (I didn’t either for the longest time).
Laphroaig is a whisky distillery located in a very particular region of Scotland, called Islay (pronounced eye-la). This very particular distillery in this very particular region produces a very particular type of single malt scotch whisky. What makes this whisky so particular, is the addition of…you guessed it…a very particular element called Peat.
No, Peat is not a person. Peat is a thing. But if peat were a person, he’d be the type to slap you in the face, rather than shake your hand on the first meet. Peat is an acquired taste.
Without going Bill Nye on you, peat is decayed earth matter. It looks about as fancy as a brick of mud. During the process of distilling and producing the whisky, this brick of earth we call peat is burned, and the resulting smoke is used to dry the barley (ps – scotch is made from barley). The point being, this peat smoke introduces a very distinct, and very recognizable flavor and aroma into Laphroaig’s Scotch whisky.
It’s the type to kick your senses in the arse as soon as it hits your taste buds.
I tell you all of this to say the chances of the average person taking the time to understand the complexity and uniqueness of a peated single malt scotch whisky after the first sip is few and far between.
So the question then becomes, “How do you take something as amazing as Laphroaig and get it to give you a nice handshake on the first interaction and not a slap in the face?” In essence, how do you make it more approachable?
Answer: introduce it in a well crafted cocktail with fresh, quality ingredients that will highlight the awesome parts of a peaty scotch, and tame the more aggressive ones.
Scotch whisky isn’t for everyone, and that’s alright. But this view is changing, and this Last Laph cocktail just might be the perfect introduction.
- 3/4 oz Laphroaig Select
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
- 3/4 oz ginger liqueur
- 3 dashes of absinthe
- Garnish: Sprig of mint
- Combine all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and fill with ice. Shake for 10 seconds until the drink is chilled. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Product supplied by Laphroaig Distillery. All views and opinions are my own.