A Kinder, Gentler Laphroaig

Laphroaig, like most Scotch from the Isle of Islay, is known for being big, bold, and smoky. That's why new scotch drinkers often find it overwhelming — campfire in a cup whose smoky taste lingers well after the glass is drained. There's now a more subtle way to get to know the smokier scotches: Laphroaig Select.

This new expression is lighter and brighter and ultimately easier to drink (in quantities at least) than the original. This is thanks to Laphroiag giving their standard whisky another six months in new American Oak barrels, which is unusual in whisky making. This is then blended with other selections from the maker's line: Quarter Cask, PX Cask, and Triple Wood.

The result is a whisky that has caramel and vanilla, nicely balanced with Laphroaig's signature iodine flavor. As far as peaty whiskies go, this is a starter scotch, perfect to get to know smoke or make an interesting cocktail. It's perfectly priced for both at $45. 

We recommend you try the Laphroaig Select neat at first. While we like a touch of water in the 86-proof 10-year-old, the Select is bottled at a ready-to-sip 80. Though peat-monster fans may not find all the smoke they are used to in the Select, there is still plenty of flavor to make this Laphroaig an excellent dram.