RE: Island Or Highland Scotch?
First we must determine which Laphroaig we're speaking of. Since you didn't specify, I'll assume you meant the 10 year old. As much as I enjoy the 15, I find the 10 completely over the top and monochromatic. It reminds me of a young punk rock band that thinks loud=quality. Peat, salt, peat and...where's the malt? Where is anything else? I'll admit the one power chord this whisky relies on is impressive but it does edge into liquid smoke territory.
Lagavulin, now, that's another story. Huge. Animal. Sea fog (like the Laphroaig 10), but with incredible depth, mystery and beauty.
So, Greyghost, if you're buying, I'll gladly drink your beloved Laphroaig. It certainly is a lot of... scotch for the money. The Lagi is about 80 dollars a bottle where I live so, If I'm feeling flush, I'll pour you a generous dram and we can discuss further.
By the way, my everyday malt is The Dalmore, a Highland of considerable distinction. Nowhere near the balls or unabashed rawness of the Laphroaig, but a mannish malt nontheless (and ten bucks less than yours). A double taken after dinner ( with a splash of spring water, oh yes) has a finish that will follow you to bed.
The malt world is too rich to only celebrate one extreme example. I'm reminded of those chile fiends who only eat foods seasoned with habeneros or Tabasco sauce. They're ruined for the subtler pleasures of the table. And I must add, before I wear out my welcome, that, as in wine, blending is an art to be enjoyed. All of your single malt producers put a lion's share of their output towards blends. The best of them are made up of many different single malts, resulting in something not better than, but different from and worthy of your tumbler.
Now, off to the liquor cabinet...