Diego Sandrin is an Italian whisky fanatic and musician who has a knack for Laphroaig, or so it seems. He experimented in 2008 with a few Laphroaig Cask Strength at 55.7%.
He bought a massive stash of those and finished them in Italian wine casks. His first batch happened in 2008 and were finished in Raboso, Fragolino and Clinto casks for a year. While these have most likely been very interesting drams, I have tried his second batch which came out at the end of 2010 (or maybe very early 2011). These were finished in Carmenere, Lancelotta and a second cask of Raboso.
Laphroaig 10 ‘Lancelotta’, 55.7% ‘Diego Sandrin’
The nose started with some mineral scented smoke. There’s a small hint of iodine, and some more smoke and heather. Pretty standard for Laphroaig, in my opinion. The wine influence becomes very prominent after a few seconds and gives a very full fruitiness with the clear earthiness of red wine. The palate is pretty sharp, rich and full with sweet wine and smoke. The finish is not too long and winds down pretty quickly. I do get a very strong hint of pineapple and smoke after which the wine reappears.
Laphroaig 10 ‘Carmenere’, 55.7% ‘Diego Sandrin’
The aroma of this one is even fuller than the Lancelotta, and somewhat less sharp. More wine influence, more red fruit, with chocolate and a solid earthiness. There’s also a hint of mint. On the palate it was sharper than I expected, with fruit and some licorice root. A little too sweet for me and the wine becomes very prominent after a few seconds. The finish is more smoky than the palate and nose but everything is rather subdued.
Laphroaig 10 ‘Raboso 2′, 55.7% ‘Diego Sandrin’
Very comparable to the previous one, in my opinion with the same full wine influence of fruit and cocoa. The mint is gone, though. It is a bit cheesy, however. A hint of leather pops up too. The flavours I would not be able to distinct between the second one and this one. On the finish it’s a bit sharper, and more Laphroagy. More smoke, pepoper and light fruit.
While I find it a very interesting experiment, I think it’s a bit like what Bruichladdich does with all its weird casks. Interesting, but I understand why Laphroaig doesn’t do this themselves. The whiskies become very interesting to taste a few times, but I wouldn’t buy a bottle of any of them. Kudos for doing cool stuff with whisky, though!