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What have you done with my Laphroaig?

Laphroaig Scotch from the Isle of Islay off Scotland is unique. It advertises itself as 'the most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies' and that is undeniably true. It's smoky and salty and peaty, and there is a little something else there that is hard to define. The tiniest of sips fills your mouth with its awesome, earthy flavour. It has its own unique look as well, using the same green bottle with the plastic cap and the same imprecisely glued black-on-white label that has been around since the 60's. Those elegant, faux-Victorian labels found on most other Scotches are so pretentious.

But the monopoly liquor supplier in Ontario has recently discontinued the Laphroaig 10 yr old single malt. And since it's never been available from the Quebec monopoly liquor supplier, I now have no source for my favourite Scotch, and only a couple fingers left in my last bottle.

I'm not sure why they got rid of it. Every Scotch drinker I know is familiar with it and rates it highly. For those who appreciate a peaty Scotch, only Lagavulin rivals its experience. But Lagavulin is twice as expensive; I could never justify buying it. Laphroaig is a connoisseur's Scotch at a working class price -- which, now that I think of it, is maybe why the LCBO dropped it.

But I'm not worried. The friends of Laphroaig will not let the LCBO get away with this. Right now, the LCBO switchboard is probably jammed with angry Laphroaig drinkers, their servers are clogged with angry emails, and letters have arrived from all over Ontario denouncing their short-sighted decision. With a provincial election coming up, I don't think Dalton McGuinty can afford to alienate such a large part of the voting public. You can write to complain to the LCBO (as I have done) at infoline@lcbo.com.

And in case I haven't completely convinced you of how special and unique this Scotch is, I present this video. Though the creator says he adds ice to Laphroaig and pronounces the name wrong, he is clearly passionate about it. I salute him.

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Comments

Have you thought of emigration? Not being able to get Laphroaig is really a reason to leave (or not moving somewhere).

On the other hand, may be they are going to replace it with the Quarter Cask? While slightly more expensive than the standard one I think it tastes even better.

Yes, I understand that they will be carrying the Quarter Cask. Unfortunately, the two stores I went to the other day had none in stock.

I will find a way to get a hold of it, but it's going to involve some legwork.

Yes, there are always reasons to be uspet at the LCBO, but this time it is only HALF their fault. The LCBO demands a minimum supply to be listed in each year's SINGLE product call(!?) that Laphroaig has chosen not to meet this year. They will keep 1/4 cask in Ontario. It is a supply and demand issue that the LCBO has once again f-ed up, working to the disservice of its legally-obligated customers. The Canadian dollar is strong. I say drive to the US and spend it while you can, meanwhile flipping the bird to every LCBO you pass en route.

I like that last suggestion a lot.

FYI, many LCBOs will special-order stuff for you, but in case quantities. So you need to round up another 30 or 40 guys who also enjoy Laphroaig, then pool the money and buy a caseload.

they have always carried it here in the SAQ in Montreal...

saq website indicates that it's only available in a few stores now (was always available everywhere in mtl). I wonder if the Laphroaig is no longer exporting?

Thanks, Hugh! If it's available in Montreal, I'll pick up some there on my way through next week. I checked the SAQ website a few days ago and nothing came up...

Uh oh. The SAQ site says none is available in Montreal. But there are two bottles in Grenville, however, which is only about a 6km detour from the 417. Hmmm...

Thanks for the advice Dr. Whiskey, but I don't think I'll be able to get to the States for a while. I may have some friends passing through a duty free shop in the near future, though. (Hint, hint, Andrew.) Love your blog.

ardbeg is a decent next option if you have not tried it.

Well, okay. If I get desperate. But I hope to snag two bottles as I pass through Grenville tomorrow. The SAQ's no-doubt-incredible inventory management system says there's two bottles there.

In fact, Corby Distilleries Limited (its on the web, look it up) supplies LCBO with Laphroaig. Indeed, Corby Distilleries is the only authorized distributor of Laphoraig in Canada. So I called Corby to enquiry about getting my favorite single malt but they told me that the decision to stop distribution of the 10 yr. product to Canada was made in by Laphroaig in Scotland, to be replaced by the Quarter Cask instead. I recommend you contact Corby if you are looking for answers.

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