Another wee drop of SMWS booze. Let’s hope this one is more to my liking than yesterday’s Highland Park.
Laphroaig is a bit of a strange whisky. There’s quite a lot of independent bottlings out there, as well as an increasing number of official ones. For some reason, I’ve spent quite some money on the brand, buying some of their Friends of Laphroaig bottlings in the Cairdeas series. I’ve stopped doing that a couple years ago, but I did end up buying (I think) batch 2 of their cask strength releases.
I love that dram, although I’ve kind of fallen out of love with their Cairdeas stuff. Mostly it consists of young peated whisky, which you can get from almost every distillery by now. While the booze is then of high enough quality, it hasn’t had the time to properly grow into it’s own, I think. Which means it all kind of feels a bit generic. Young and peaty. Maybe the 12 year old Cairdeas one from some years ago is better, but I haven’t tried it yet. I know the port cask from last year was far from nice. LaphRose…
This cask is what, in my opinion, Laphroaig does best. Get a great bourbon barrel, put great spirit in there and take some time before bottling it. Not too long, mind! 17 years seems about right.
A typical Laphroaig punch in the face. No messing about. Peat, straw, heather. It’s clean, it’s fierce, there’s salt and sand and I also get some lemon curd. Laphroaig often has lemon flavors that are just lovely. It gets a bit sweeter after about fifteen minutes, with more oak, brown sugar, vanilla syrup and treacle.
The palate is dry at first, just before the strength hits you. This one is hot! It doesn’t have much alcohol in a flavor-wise way though. Straw, heather, crushed black pepper. Some vanilla and the peat is not that overpowering. It’s definitely there but in balance with the other flavors. After a bit of swimming I get apple cake, treacle and thyme.
The finish mellows quickly and leaves a lovely warming glow. Lots of herbal flavors like the thyme from before. Slightly salty and sweet at the same time. Sugar, and even some coffee like bitterness.
This is a very Laphroaigy whisky. Which is enough reason to want a bottle of it, and I wish I had spotted this earlier since 68 quid for this kind of booze is a steal. Of course, it’s all gone by now.
The flavors are well balanced but still develop over tasting this whisky. The nose is different from the palate, and the direction it’s taken is continued in the finish. This is something I thoroughly enjoy. I very much like the addition of the thyme on the palate and the coffee flavor in the finish.
I think I could ramble on about this bottle for a while, but let’s keep it short. Epic stuff. I want more whisky like this. Absolutely fantastic.
But, as I’ve come to expect from the SMWS, an utterly bullcrap name and tasting notes that I can’t do anything with. Still, they know how to pick some great casks!
Laphroaig 1995, 17yo, 61.5%, Nurses and Doctors attend a Beach BBQ, SMWS (29.134). It used to be only £ 68.