Laphroaig has been one of my preferred Islay Single Malts. My collection has favored Ardbeg due to the number of Ardbeg expressions on the market. Yet, this may be a sign to investigate Laphroaig. I know that Triple Wood will have a place in my single malt cabinet. However, is anything going on with the distributor? Why is the ten priced higher in the Chicago Area?
The smoky, maritime-like sweet flavor and slightly oily texture works incredibly well for me. Some woman claim Laphroaig is their 'go to' Islay. Frankly, I just think that they just have good taste. I hoard the stuff. Laphroaig lacks the coal-like spicier Islay palate of either Caol Ila. Talisker is a joy, but it is also spicier. Nevertheless, CI, Lagavulin, Isle of Jura, Bunnahabhain, etc. all also have a place and purpose in my palate depending upon the expression and moment. The peatier versions get my attention. The Laphroaig Ten challenge is the price disparity between the Midwest and the West Coast.
Chicago often sells the bottle for $20 to $30 above the West Coasts best price. West Coast retailers can sell a bottle for as low as $29.99. How and why this is done is unclear. Chicago has Laphroaig 10 year old, but the Midwest prices remain consistently above the West Coast. What drives these prices? A difference in regulations? A desire to hike the price for the expression so that it remains on shelves and not on the palates of those who otherwise will drink it? Will it ever makes its way low enough for fans to more heavily stock it or buy it at their local watering hole?
Laphroaig has a place in bars that seek single malts for their patrons. However, not ever bar is going to pay a premium for something that it cannot sell for under $15 per dram/shot. $9 Laphroaig Shots make sense in Chicago. Any lower should make it the rage, but $9 may work! Many pubs simply won't carry Islay single malt until something gives. Could it be the distributor? New taxes (this price difference existed b4 the tax)? Is it supply and demand? Ardbeg 10 tends to have seen a rise in the Midwest depending upon the location. I am curious whether anyone knows or cares.
When Laphroaig Triple Wood hits the Shelves, where will it fit on the single malt price continuum? I'll buy, but how much will be stocked and where it will find its place depends upon the distributor. Any thoughts?