Apparently I was wrong about the amount of samples of bottlings for The Whisky Exchange I had lying around. The mistake was made when I only counted samples that TWE had sent me, instead of just all of them.
This one was sent to me by my whisky buddy Ben Cops, who I got to know through the bottle share group of which I used to be a member. The reason I’m not a member anymore is that I needed to protect myself from ‘smaller’ expenses that racked up to significant amounts.
Anyway, I have the feeling I haven’t been giving the Islay whiskies enough attention lately. Also, The Whisky Exchange bottled a significant amount of Signatory ‘vases’ last year, and I didn’t taste any of them, which I regret. This puts some of that to rest, since it’s one of them.
Hint for anyone buying these bottles: They go well as water bottles during tastings and dinners.
Kaboom! It’s heavy and peaty right of the get-go. Medicinal and salty, with a certain harbour scent of ropes, ships and fishing nets. Some asphalt too, creosote maybe. In the background there are raisins and minor hints of other dried fruits.
The palate is very sharp with the typical Islay smokiness of smoke, peat, heather and a hint of salinity. The oak is slightly bitter, but also sweet. Quite heavy with dates and apricots.
The finish is pretty peaty again, with smoke and oak. Slightly bitter too and hints of sherry. It mellows rather quickly, and is a bit more gentle than I expected.
Apart from it being a Laphroaig bottled for The Whisky Exchange I didn’t know anything about this bottle at the time of tasting, and the sharpness, and most of the flavours are pretty easy to explain by checking their website. Refill sherry, at a whopping 60.8% ABV do the trick nicely.
Then, what did I think of it? Simple. It’s awesome. This is a very impressive drop of booze from the guys in the south of Islay. The flavours are typical and Islay-y and the only complaint I might have is that it’s not such a typical Laphroaig where I usually get more lemon flavours and other citrus fruit. On the other hand, if a whisky is this awesome, who am I to start nagging about minor details.
In short. It’s great. If you have the budget, get one.
Laphroaig 15, 1998-2013, 60.8%, refill sherry cask 700393 Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange. Available from The Whisky Exchange for £ 99 / € 125
Thanks for the sample, Ben! Yours will be on their way soon.