And yes, of course this is Laphroaig. Williamson is a regular name for undisclosed Laphroaig, named after Bessie Williamson, the distillery manager at Laphroaig from the Second World War to 1972, with her also being owner of the place since 1954. She was the first female distillery manager in Scotland.
Anyway, The Whisky Jury is a new bottler in the same line as Wu Dram Clan and WhiskyNerds, Michiel Wigman and several others aiming to bottle only the best of what is available. Their Ben Nevises sold out instantly and have, as far as I have tried them from samples, all been epic.
Of course, with them being insanely popular, it means their bottlings are very hard to get and often end up being ballotted out instead of being available for regular purchase.
Let’s see if it all makes sense, shall we?
Massively peaty, with a veritable mountain of peat. Earthy, sea-weedy, salty and briny. Cooked pear, some bready notes, a bit of a pastry sweetness. Washed-up wood on beaches, quite classical. Not an ‘engineered’ whisky.
Quite gentle on the palate. There’s a bit of a tingle, but it’s not fierce. Some black pepper, dry oak, lots of coastal notes. A whiff of dried lemon and lime. Lots of earthy, and briny peat, but it’s not overly forced on the smokiness.
The finish is slightly more lemony, with a whiff of black pepper. Oak, sea weed, some grapes, but also some candied citrus fruit.
What I love is that it really is a typical Islay whisky without any weird cask usage and trying to hard to be something else. It’s a very clear and straight forward approach, and I love it. The combination of yellow citrus, peat and pepper works really well. I really love this one!
Available in the secondary market for about € 225 at the time of writing.
Addition : Williamson is teaspooned single malt, and therefore cannot be called ‘single’ malt (see picture : the label mentions ‘blended malt’). Just as teaspooned Balvenie is called Burnside, teaspooned Glenfiddich is called Warhead and teaspooned Glenmorangie is called Westport, and so on … Contrary to ‘bastard’ bottlings which are ‘single’ malts bottled by independents who are not allowed to use the brand name (such as ‘Undisclosed Orkney’ for Highland Park or ‘Probably Speysides Finest’ for Glenfarclas, and other creative puns from independent bottlers with a hint to the original brand).
While that is officially true, with 99.9% of the liquid being from the distillery we know, I consider it to be single malt.
Even more so because there is no way of telling whether it actually is teaspooned, or people just say it is to prevent the ‘single malt’ label…