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A $200 Shot of Scotch…

Laphroig 30 1

Well, I am just kidding of course. I would never pay $200 for just a single drink of Scotch …

I did pay $190 though!

Now, I can imagine a few people are shaking their heads and wondering how I could do such a thing, so a bit of backstory is in order …

First, Last month I ended up flying to Ottawa for a bit of a serious medical issue. I won’t bore you to tears with all the tedious details except to say that, in the end it worked out pretty well. The process was unpleasant, but I managed to get away with having two cardiac stents inserted (via an artery in my arm) and I  was then released on my merry way.

On arrival in Ottawa, though, I faced the very real prospect of having a quadruple bypass. I didn’t know if I would be released from hospital within a day or two, or a few weeks, or… given the risk of either route, possibly not at all. Accordingly, I rather felt like treating myself to something outrageous … something that I will never do again and, for that matter, will never do again.

Anyway, the libation in question was, to be more specific, a 30 year old, limited edition, Single Malt Scotch from the Laphroig distillery. Now I have explained why I decided to sample this very rare (and expensive drink) … for those interested in what I actually thought of it… read on

Laphroig 30 2

Well fellow Scotch enthusiasts … my favorite distilleries are Laphroig, Lagavulin, and Caol Ila, which should tell you all you need to know about my preferences. In the past, I have had the Laphroig Quarter Cask many times, 10 year olds in many years, and the 18 year old Laphroig. The 30 year old limited edition was something special … my notes, made in my Scotch log, read as follows:

OKAY … this was the Scotch experience to end them all for me. The sipping portion (one shot) was $190 before tax. The bartender said he heard it was very low on peat … he was sort of right. The overall effect was a huge aromatic alcohol burn and the same high, sweetish, aldehyde burn of Speysides (I could have been fooled into thinking it was a Speyside, if I didn’t know better). A good hit of seaweed and surgical gauze was all there was to make this obviously a ‘Laphroig’. The peat didn’t mellow, exactly… it was just absent. I’d take the quarter cask any day…

So there you have it. It wasn’t as good as many ‘lesser’ Scotches. I wasn’t disappointed, though … I am glad I had this very extravagant experience and I think I can safely say that, having had it, I don’t feel the need to repeat it ever again 😊


I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

9 thoughts on “A $200 Shot of Scotch…

  1. Yikes John. Good to know you’re okay and only required stenting rather than open bypass surgery. I hope your heart health continues to improve,

  2. Great that you are all right 🙂
    When I still used to enjoy scotch on a daily basis, I was often able to sample (or a full bottle) of the real expensive stuff, one of the advantages of being a “big shot” in the hospitality industry. However, the stuff I bought for home was usually a bit more down to earth. While I still love blue label JW, I do prefer JW red label over JW black label anytime 🙂
    Question of taste and falling (or not) for clever marketing.
    Cheers !

  3. It’s good to do this sort of thing every now and again. I could introduce you to some truly great Irish whiskey that has none of that overbearing peat of the Scotch island stuff. You could hang on to a few dollars too!

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