Yet another NAS release from Laphroaig. I’ve said this in an article I wrote for our club’s magazine a few months ago, but Laphroaig has changed. And I am not talking about the distillate which was better in the sixties, or so I’ve heard.
When I started drinking single malt whiskies and be more than a little bit interested in this drink of ours, there were five different Laphroaigs regularly available. There was the 10, the 15, the Quarter Cask, a cask strength release and a 25 year old or so.
If you call up any whisky specialist’s website now, you’ll see Lore, An Cuan Mor, PX Cask, Canto Cask, QA Cask, Select, Brodir, Triple Wood on top of what was already there. Apart from this all being quite young whisky, it’s all quite expensive compared to the 10 year old. Also, and this bugs me most, apart from PX Cask, you don’t have a clue what to expect.
This Lore edition is one of the last ones to be added (until early 2017 that is, since there’s a Four Oak and a ‘The 1815’ on the way) and gets mixed reviews. Some people say this should be called Laphroaig ‘Core’ since it covers all the basics of Laphroaig, other say it should be called Laphroaig ‘Bore’ since it doesn’t do anything any of the dozen other release don’t do.
On the nose it’s medinical at first, with a rather gentle smokiness. Some oak, some tarry rope and shammy leather. Warming with a hint of cheese, petrol and barley. It’s quite spirity (read: young).
The palate is very dry, and sharper than I expected. Slightly thin and watery, somehow (it’s 48% after all) with oak and barley. A hint of apple, pear and smoke follows.
The finish is a bit corky, with sweet lemon and spirit. Some oak, some salt and candy ‘foam blocks’.
This is a slightly tricky whisky to review. I can see both Lore, Core and Bore versions of this having some merit. The whisky isn’t bad, although there could have been a bit more complexity and depth on the palate. It’s not a dram that will keep you occupied for a longer period of time.
On the other hand, young whiskies that aren’t overly interesting is something that Laphroaig has an abundance of on the shelves at the moment. I don’t really understand releases like this since it doesn’t add anything to ‘the Laphroaig experience’ people have.
So, the whisky isn’t bad, but not extremely good either. It’s quite forgettable and, let’s be honest, far too expensive for what it does. Especially since when it came out you could buy the amazing 15 year old from 2015 for the same amount.
Laphroaig Lore, 48%, available for about € 100 in The Netherlands.