It’s been ages since I properly sat down to taste some Laphroaig. It’s not even that there’s nothing available since Laphroaig is one of the couple Islay distilleries that regularly have indies bottled. You don’t have to look far to find a plethora of Laphroaig available, even from the distillery itself.
Over the last couple of years they gone quite mad with their official releases. I remember a time when there was only the 10, 15 and Quarter Cask regularly available. They had some others back ten too, but those were so far out of my league that I never really bothered with them. Currently that’s different, the availability with their Triple Wood, PX Cask, QA Cask, An Cuan Mor and also the 18 (which is a pretty good dram, by the way).
Then recently they released the new 15 year old. It was available through the website first but supposedly that was a hassle since the servers couldn’t cope with the demand. They released this as a flashback to the 15 year old that was phased out a couple of years ago (much to the regret of its loyal fans), but the official reason was to celebrate the Distillery’s 200th anniversary.
The limitedness of this bottling is something to be taken with a grain of salt, by the way, since there are 72000 bottles available. It’ll sell out eventually, but there seem to not be a shortage of any kind at the moment. At a price point of € 110 or so it seems to be a bit much for a lot of whisky drinkers.
The peat on the nose is very old fashioned with some good medicinal scents. Iodine and band-aids. Not too heavy though, but there’s leather, oak and saw dust. Some licorice, bay leaf and heather. Old, dry lemons. Strangely, some acrylic paint too. Never had that before.
The palate is slightly fatty with peat and heather and smoke (not the first things that come to mind with a fatty palate). Some straw, iodine, salty with lemon oil. Some myrthe like you find everywhere on Corsica. It’s fairly gentle, but also has a note of sand paper, rope, oak and bay leaf.
The finish is lead by peat and smoke. Salt, bay leaf, rope, boats in a dock (so tar, rope, barnacles, salt, that stuff). Lemon and lime, quite dirty.
While I find a 110 bucks quite expensive, I sure love this whisky. As in, it’s awesome and it shows exactly what a typical Laphroaig should be all about I think. It might not be the most complex of drams, or one of the most intense ones, but with the current trend of cask strength violence from Islay, I like that this one does something different. And it has an age statement.
I’m now seriously considering getting a bottle of this, but I know I shouldn’t. As in, from a financial perspective I know I shouldn’t, but that doesn’t always stop me. Pondering…
It’s actually been quite a while since I had a whisky with this level of medicinal flavors. I half expected that to be something from the past, but I’m glad that is not the case. Massive kudos to Laphroaig!
Laphroaig 15, 43%, 200th Anniversary Edition. Available at Whiskysite.nl for € 109.99