talisker10 wrote:So in general terms what made the Laph 10 of 1990's and earlier better?
I'm not quite so sure about the Laphroaig of the 1990s in terms of consistent quality.
Others here have made some very telling comments as to the reasons behind a change in the character of the spirit. And I know that I certainly noticed, during the aforementioned 1990s, some bottles of the Laphroaig 10 Year Old displaying a richer golden colour, even with a touch of orange in the makeup. The mid-palate effect had also softened ever so slightly, possibly due to a subtle veil of caramel. Yet at other times, some bottles seemed marginally more 'raw' than the norm. Of course, such inconsistencies are not unheard of throughout the single malt industry.
Lately, I've judged the 10YO to be back to its clean, uncluttered, beachside best, with the 'medicine' going down in buttery-smooth fashion. Yes, it may indeed have lost a touch of its intensity.
By the way, Jefford's fine book is now widely available in paperback.