Nov 202016
 

Laphroaig 2004 Cask #45 Bottle Your Own20160925_110724

51% abv

Score:  91.5/100

 

Laphroaig runs some pretty damn cool visitor experiences for those that make the pilgrimage across the water to Islay.  As if you needed more motivation.  Even without upgrading to said tour experiences, the good people at the distillery will treat you like family.

In fact, I’ll go step further.  It’s arguable that one Islay distillery produces malts I like more, while another does things in a manner I respect more than any other distillery in the world.  Having said that…Laphroaig combines those two aspects into one big, beautiful, peaty coherent whole.  It’s hard not to love the green and white.

Two of the higher end experiences the distillery offers include the opportunity to sample from three pre-selected casks and bottle your own 250 ml bottle directly from the barrel, replete with cask char residue and all.  Now…if you’re a whisky geek and purist as I am (and many of us are), this is the ultimate in both dramming experiences and souvenir hoarding.  Couple that with a healthy dosing of peat juice along the three hour journey and man…I don’t know how else to sell it to you.

This malt was one of the three I tried at the distillery.  It was a 12 year old malt from a bourbon barrel.

I don’t review whiskies like this in order to aid in buying decisions (obviously), but in order to tell a story.  In this case, to tell you that a few of us went to peaty Neverland and had an incomparable experience.  You can do the same.  And if you do…it will be absolutely unforgettable.

Obviously I drank this on site, but sincere thanks to ‘the bearded one’, aka Danny, for the chance to enjoy this in more meditative environs.  Was nice to revisit and take some notes.

Nose:  Earthy dram, this.  Notes of tea.  Sweet but strong vanilla.  Mint Leaf candies.  Smoked seafood on the shell.  Very fresh eucalyptus.  A truly organic whisky.  Lime…and more lime.  Freshly baked scones.

Palate:  More lime here.  Smoke and peat, as we’d expect.  Medicinal (agin…as we’d expect).  Minty.  Very vibrant.  Ashy.  Smoky.  Salt licorice.  Rubber.

Thoughts:  A beautiful old school style Laphroaig.  We tried three, and all were interesting, but this one had the most harmonious nature about it.  Lovely stuff.

 

 – Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 10:13 pm
Oct 092016
 

Laphroaig 10 y.o. Cask Strength Batch 00806-lap-00-img_3798

59.2% abv

Score:  91/100

 

Finally.  A long awaited return to a range I fell in love with years ago.  I wrote up Batch 001 and 002 here on the site in early days – and have a bottle of Batch 003 in the archive – but sadly I’ve not been near another one these releases since.  Wait…notes say I tried Batch 004 at some point too.  Unfortunately they are, for inexplicable reasons, not available in Canada no matter how much we plead.  And trust me…I have taken this to Beam Suntory on more than one occasion.

A recent trip to Islay was the perfect opportunity to finally scoop another bottle of this young bog beastie.  Actually, between the four of us that went over, we picked up four bottles of it.  Only one now remains intact (now secure in the archive a chez moi).  After sipping it in one of the island’s pubs, we immediately bought a bottle for evening dramming in Bowmore.  The other two bottles have been generously shared amongst 50 or so good people.  Just the way malts were meant to be treated.

I remember loving these releases, but I don’t recall such harmonious sweet and smoky balance.  Still retains the feist of young Laphroaig, redolent of smoke, peat, earth and medicine, while bringing syrupy sweet candy fruitiness.  Absolutely spot on whisky making.  Every peathead deserves the opportunity to try this one.  Find it…buy it…share it.

Nose:  Wow.  Medicinal AND fruity.  Much deeper threads of jammy fruit than I’d ever expect in a young Laphroaig.  Lemon and lime.  Mint Leaves candy or eucalyptus.  Dry smoke and earthy undertones.  Cocoa powder (dry and drier).  Maybe even chocolate.  This even SMELLS like a thick drink.  Ashy.  Iodine.

Palate:  Unreal delivery.  Sweet, syrupy, rich and fruity.  And a peated hammer to the teeth.  Lots of smoke.  And sooty, char notes.  Lovely.  Almost burnt fruit skins.  Jammy.  Like licking the ashtray at the end of a kitchen party.  Flinty and redolent of lapsang souchong tea.  A finish that seems endless.

Thoughts:  Love this dram.  Not for everyone, but those who love it will truly cherish it.

 

 – Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 4:37 pm
May 232016
 

Laphroaig 15 y.o. 200th AnniversaryIMG_1406

43% abv

Score:  90/100

 

While the old Laphroaig 15 always seemed to take such a drubbing in its day, it’s quite interesting to see the esteem in which it is held today.  Be it a rose-colored glasses scenario or a don’t-know-what-you’ve-got-’til-it’s-gone sort of thing, either way, we’ve seen quite an about face in terms of how that malt is revered.

When it was revealed that Laphroaig would ring in its 200th anniversary with a re-release of the 15 year old a collective cheer resonated throughout the whisky world.  Unfortunately that news was sort of shackled to the revelation that we’d be waving goodbye to the beloved 18 year old.  To make matters worse it came to light that the 15 too would only be available for a short while and in limited quantity (72,000, I believe).  It would seem we’re destined to have nothing consistent in the Laphroaig age-stated range beyond a 10 year old.  Truly an unfortunate situation, as Laphroaig is a malt that tends to mature very well.

I haven’t been able to try the two 15s (older and newer) side by side as yet, but I can say that the differences are both unquestionably perceptible and not at all a bad thing.  Both malts are surprisingly gentle and subtle, but the newer expression bears bigger smoke and less soft fruit.  While certainly no new school phenol bomb, this 200th anniversary edition is rather reminiscent of older Laphroaig expressions (read: pre-market explosion releases arguably harbouring older casks in the vattings).  And while less fruity than the earlier runs, this one does bring a wealth of sweetness not seen in contemporary Laphroaig (excepting the stunning 2015 Cairdeas).

Personally, I think I prefer the earlier editions for their subtleties and complexities, but this one really is a beauty.  Glad I grabbed a couple when the opportunity was available.

Nose:  Very vibrant; moreso than I’d expected from this low of an abv.  Soft fruits, earthy peat and a clean breath of eucalyptus.  Green mint leaf candies.  Lime and melon.  Maybe a little grapefruit.  Smells like rain on the beach.  Medicinal and notes of damp paper.  Definitely more assertive than the old 15.

Palate:  Much bigger here.  Bombastic smoke.  Tar.  Charred seafood.  Lime juice.  Toasted marshmallow.  More citrus zest.  A touch of fennel.  Mineral and medicinal notes.  Drinks a little bigger than the rather anemic 43% would suggest, fortunately.  Some candy sweet notes.  Vanilla and peat.

Thoughts:  Great whisky.  Laphroaig killed it this year with their two bicentennial releases, though the Cairdeas definitely pips this one.  Would have been a knockout at cask strength.

 

 – Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 8:19 am
Jan 032016
 

Laphroaig Cairdeas 200th Anniversary 2015120

51.5% abv

Score:  92/100

 

I love what Laphroaig has done with the 2015 edition of the popular Cairdeas expression.  This bog beast is built entirely of barley floor-malted at the distillery (as opposed to most Laphroaig releases which feature predominantly malted barley procured from the Port Ellen Maltings), distilled in the squat l’il stills and then matured in the Number 1 Warehouse (yes, that is a different place than Bowmore’s legendary Number 1 Vaults) near the briny influence of the Atlantic (if you believe that makes a difference).  Whereas we can usually expect Laphroaig’s phenols to hover around 40-45 ppm pre-distillation, who knows what we have here?  The peat level isn’t really the main talking point however.  The fact that this is an entirely old school malt with a crystalline purity and stunning balance is.  Wow, what a dram.  Best Laphroaig in a long time, and that is saying something.

The elephant in the room is that this is – for all intents and purposes – an NAS expression.  The reality is though that John Campbell, distillery manager and the architect of this dram, has been rather forthright about this one; explaining that it was laid down in 2003 and bottled in 2015.  Effectively an unofficial 11 year old, I suppose, as his comments referred to it being ‘nearly twelve years old’.  This Cairdeas wears its youth like a badge here, shining bright and conspicuous.

I first tasted this one in a range that included three different Leapfrog 25 year olds, and still this Cairdeas held its own (and then some).  Well worth tracking down and spending your shekels on.  Oh, and having said that…this one was released in 2015 for the distillery’s bicentennial.  It is limited, but to just how many bottles I’m not certain.  20,000 litres in total, I believe.  Grab before it’s gone.

Nose:  Key lime pie.  Peaty, earthy and smoky.  Ash and mineral notes.  Eucalyptus, in a Mint Leaves candy kinda way.  Green Jolly Ranchers.  I know this is built on 11 year old malt, but it noses older.  Very much a fruity candy treat.  With a medicinal edge, of course.  Soft sugared dough.  Dust, blood orange and tangerine.  Latex and ‘old whisky aroma’  (what we’ll call ‘OWA’ from here on out).

Palate:  A licorice, smoke and medicinal arrival.  Again…wow.  How does an 11 year old taste this mature?!  Soft fruit meets sugar cookies.  Lime zest, rubber.  Slightly, slightly bitter.  Ashy and oily as hell.  Faint cardamom in soft chocolate.

Thoughts:  The best Laphroaig I’ve had since the 25, I think.  This one works for me on so many levels.

 

– Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 8:37 am
Aug 192015
 

SMWS 29.109 “Oak And Smoke Intensity”063

59.2% abv

Score: 92/100

 

From the Islay distillery closest to the wee fishing village of Port Ellen.  This is a 20 year old SMWS single cask release from a refill sherry butt.  No dead wood here, though.  This must have been one of the liveliest and sexiest of sherry casks ever.  The barrel influence is massive and the fruity depths plumbed here are leagues deeper than we usually see in any of the distillery released expressions of Laph—-g.

This is the kind of whisky I actively seek out: intense, brooding, thick and all-encompassing.  This perfect balance of peat and sherry is difficult to achieve, but when the balance is struck there’s simply nothing comparable.  I could go on for a while, but there’s really no point.  Utterly magic.

Nose: Syrupy and jammy.  Plums and grapes.  Ash and notes of smoke, with a strong peaty undercurrent.  Licorice.  Lanolin.  More rich, dark fruits and chocolate.  A clean thin stroke of oak and vanilla.  Like a cup of lapsang souchong tea, smelled from across a vast room.  Well-oiled leather and spiced nuts.  In short…stunning.

Palate:  Rich and oily.  Mouthcoating doesn’t even begin to describe this one.  Big, smoky and ashy delivery.  Licorice and black cherry.  Cough syrup.  Dark and earthy notes.  Bittersweet chocolate and espresso.  Drying, but only after a mouthwatering arrival.  Enormous and instantly enamoring.  Man…that cloud of smoke builds again at the back end.

Thoughts:  Love this malt.  One of my all time favorites, and truly majestic.  Sadly, I’m now down to the last 1/3 or 1/4.  Something this beautiful wasn’t meant to last, I suppose.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 

 Posted by at 8:26 am
May 122015
 

Laphroaig 1996 17 y.o. Cask #8519 (Signatory)052

50.7% abv

Score:  89.5/100

 

Back to the bog.  Let’s dig in for a quirky one-off from Signatory.  This one is well worth spending a little time with – and sharing the word on – simply due to its ‘against the grain’ nature and contrary personality.

I think I might actually be hard-pressed to say this was a Laphroaig if I had to taste it blindly.  There’s a hint or two of its lineage, of course, but it’s almost like Hugo Weaving in ‘V For Vendetta’.  You know he’s the voice behind the mask (how could you miss that timbre?), but it’s not a sure thing unless you actually see the actor behind the costume.  This Signatory indie is a Laphroaig dressed up like an Ardbeg.  Or something like that anyway.  That’s about the closest I can come to putting my finger on it.

I knew I had to review this one as soon as I tried it, as this is a perfect example of why independently bottled whiskies are so much fun.  Here we end up with a dram that is like nothing the distillery releases in its standard range.  It’s bottled at high strength, unfiltered and with all pertinent info front and center.  Beautiful.  And of course it doesn’t hurt that the spirit is a clean and vibrant little gem in its own inherent right.

I do want to note that this is one naked-ass Laphroaig.  17 years in a hoggy have barely imparted more than a tinge of color, and the phenols seem to have been barely restrained by wood.  This is an unbroken stallion of a malt.  Wild and unchecked.  If I had to guess, this was matured in a tight-grained second or third fill barrel.  And I am not disappointed by that in the least.  The smoky and peaty spirit shines bright and centerstage.  Fans of big peaty whiskies will be in for a real treat here, as this one brings a phenolic edge you usually only find in young Islay malts but rounds it out with some soft mature nuances.

Nose:  Predictably Islay and awesome.  Lemon and lime.  Seashore (wet rock, ocean breeze and salt water).  Licorice.  Smoke and earthy, medicinal peat.  Soft melon notes and chewy candy.  A slight BBQ note.  Vanilla cream over soft fruits.  Reminds just a wee little bit of Ardbeg Auriverdes.

Palate:  Big licorice-rich delivery.  Into juicy stone fruit, then billows of smoke.  Awwww, yeah!  Flinty and briny.  Cracked pepper.  Black ju-jubes.  Green apple and mouthfuls of moist dirt.  Ginger.  Bitter, bitter dark chocolate (like 90+% cacao!) and strong espresso.  Some oat or grain at the back end, before it fades right back into apple skins again.

Thoughts:  Somewhere in between an Ardbeg and a Laphroaig.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 11:24 am
Apr 302015
 

Laphroaig 18 (2014)047

48% abv

Score:  91/100

 

Time to revisit an old favorite.  Coming back to this one feels just as comforting and welcome as picking up the phone and talking to an old friend I haven’t seen in years.  Nothing but good memories, nostalgic reflections and the pleasure of returning to something well-loved.

I recently had a chat with a friend on Islay and mentioned I had had to postpone this year’s trip out to my Hebridean home away from home.  He struck a chord when he said “you just need to stick your nose in a glass and it will bring you to Islay.”  If you’ve ever visited the island you’ll feel the truth in this sentiment.  And more than likely feel the same sense of longing to be back that plagues me between trips over.

But enough of that romantic drivel for now.  Let’s just be grateful to check out the new(ish) Laphroaig 18.  This is the white-tinned one; no longer the dark green packaging.  The true question at heart is whether or not the whisky itself has changed in parallel with the aesthetic rebranding.  A collective (and cultivated) cynicism has us somewhat fearful of changes to these old favorites, of which we are fiercely protective.  This cynicism, unfortunately, is firmly rooted in historical precedent in this, the age of declining stocks (or so we’re told) and soaring prices.  But optimism has its place too, so let’s nae get bogged down in the dirges.  Fingers crossed.  Hoping for the best.  And…

…amply rewarded!  Whew.

Nose:  A squeeze of lime.  Smoke, but from a distance.  Peat, but faded.  A hint of anise.  Oysters on the shell.  Coastal air and seaspray.  A touch of vanilla.  Some orange oil.  Keylime pie, pastry and all.  A dusting of dry pepper.  And a sweet, overarching candy note.

Palate:  Orange again.  Or rather, orange rind.  Earthy peat.  Mild black licorice.  Flinty notes.  Smoke and ash.  Solid oaky backbone without being heavy-handed.  A little grapefruit pith.  Salt water.  A nice juicy, plummy note at the end.

Thoughts:  Just as lovely as I recall.  Still a whisky built on smoked fruit and subtleties.  The rebranding seems nothing more than aesthetic fiddling.  Relieved to find this is the same ol’ balancing act of peat and sweet.  Beautiful.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 11:53 am
Oct 092014
 

Cairdeas.  A Gaelic word that means ‘friendship’.  The word itself, for those phonetically curious, is pronounced somewhere between ‘car-chess’ and ‘car-chase’ (depending on how thick the accent of the speaker is).  These annual releases from our good friends at Laphroaig were originally launched as an exclusive for that ever burgeoning group of peat geeks known as the ‘Friends Of Laphroaig’.  In recent years, Laphroaig has upped the outturn on these Cairdeas expressions, and they’re now quite readily available in most markets.

Through all of its various incarnations over the years, there’s one thing that has been fairly consistent with Cairdeas: the presentation of a strong natural whisky of high quality and character.  I honestly haven’t regretted buying a single one of  them.  These releases have been a mixed bag of ages and styles, but the Laphroaig profile (earthy, smoky, peaty, medicinal) has been omnipresent throughout.  The subtleties change, of course, but that familiar and homey style we all love remains intact. 

Highly recommended from this guy.

Now…before we get to the whisky…a quick toast…

This one is for all of the whisky folk out there (bloggers and writers and schillers, oh my!) who seem to have gotten just a little too friendly with the industry of late.  Perhaps it’s a testament to the wisdom of Sun-Tzu.  Hmmmm…wish I could believe that. 

 

Laphroaig Cairdeas Master Edition 2010025

57.3% abv

Score:  91.5/100

 

Nose:  This one has the softest nose among these four.  Reminds a little of Laphroaig 18, but jacked up a notch or two.  Smoke, of course.  And peat.  White pepper.  Ginger.  Soft green melon.  Key lime pie.  Green ju-jubes.  A fleeting glimpse of bubble gum.  Slightly minty.  A touch of clean oak.  Wee hint of rubber.

Palate:  Again…soft and beautiful.  Love the candy notes and gentle fruits.  Dry smoke leads into peat, then explodes in sweet notes.  Crisp green pear and MacIntosh apple skins.  Light (very light) orange juice and lemon notes.  The toasted crust of good creme brulee.

Thoughts:  Good balance of old and young.  Aging peat is a thing of beauty.   So much harmony between the nose and palate.  Apparently this is a mix of 11-19 year casks, and you can definitely see the influence of the older whiskies within.

 

Laphroaig Cairdeas Ileach Edition 2011019

50.5% abv

Score:  89/100

 

Nose:  Mint Leaves jelly candies.  Peat and earth.  Smoke, but it’s not quite as big as I’d normally expect.  Iodine.  Brine.  Dark soil.  Lemon rind.  Salt and pepper.  Creamy, soft mild cigar tobacco notes.  A touch of vanilla.  Soft white / green fruit.  Bread dough.

Palate:  Peppery, right off the bat.  Slightly drying too.  Fruit candy sweetness.  Smoke and wet rock.  Nutty, earthy notes.  Dry ginger.  Quite a sweet development throughout.  Wet ash.  Fresh lemon squeezed over oysters on the shell.

Thoughts:  Young-ish, but who cares?  Peat is a hell of a ride when offered up in its youth.  And there are definitely no flaws in the actual whisky here.  A great version from a much-loved distillery.

 

Laphroaig Cairdeas Origin 2012002

51.2% abv

Score:  88.5/100

 

Nose:  Smoke and a very coastal iodine tang.  Salty dough.  Organic, peaty notes.  Damp ash (a fire put out with saltwater!).  Dusty, old wood (maybe dunnage?).  A faint note of peppered greens.  Fresh dill.  Dirt.  Soft caramel notes.   Seems slightly older than the 2011 edition.

Palate:  Pepper leads (with some salty / briny notes as well).  Apple.  Smoked shellfish.  A fair bit of rubber.  Smoked grains.  Licorice or fennel.  More of that peppery bite again.  Ginger.  Dirt and wet rocks.  A mouthful of ocean water.

Thoughts:  I initially fell in love with this one while at the distillery in late 2012.  Happy to report we’re still in love.  It was a treat when this release landed on Canadian shores last year.  I immediately snapped some up.

 

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014003

51.4% abv

Score:  89/100

 

Nose:  Slightly farmy.  Warm saddle.  Hay and horse blanket.  Zesty…almost savoury (tomato sauce-ish).  Big, clouds of smoke, but very much dampened by the sweetness of the sherry influence.  Peat.  Cinnamon, pepper and ginger.  Notes of good marmalade.

Palate:  Rubber.  Yep.  A fairly hefty amount of smoke and warm rubber.  An odd oregano-like note.  Kinda flinty.  Very dirty Laphroaig (in other words: awesome).  Medicinal notes.  Play dough.  Granny Smith apple.  Quite earthy.  Deep spice, almost chili-esque.  Surprisingly savoury overall.

Thoughts:  Peat and sweet.  Love the marriage of mighty Laphroaig and soft sherry.  This is a heck of a dram.  Wish I knew the age on it. 

 

– Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 8:57 am
Aug 172013
 

Laphroaig 15 y.o.lrgob_15yo

43% abv

Score:  91.5/100

 

Tasting a whisky like this is an exercise in heartbreak.  Forgive my overt sentimentality towards anything Islay, but irrespective of any personal biases, this really is a rather simple and beautiful whisky.  I’m blown away that the decision was made to remove this from the range.  While we did, of course, gain the spectacular 18 year old as a trade-off, I can think of no reason not to continue bottling some of the mature spirit at 15 years.  It’s quite evidently a sweet spot for Laphroaig.

First things first…

This whisky went the way of the dodo in mid 2008.  That was back when the current whisky bubble was still expanding, but had yet to reach the frightening state of inflation it’s currently at.  The importance of noting this lies in understanding that there would have been a lot less demand on mature stocks at the distillery, thereby allowing for more flexibility in selecting casks to marry in order to build a whisky like this.  In 2013, I’m 99% certain that a 15 year old malt is exactly that, whereas a few years back I’m betting the distiller had casks of all sorts of vintages at his disposal; the only restriction being that the youngest cask in the mix was not less than 15 years and a day.  Put simply…there are casks vatted in this bottling that are older than 15 years.

Laphroaig 15 was a fairly polarizing whisky when it was available.  I’m wondering now if that didn’t have more to do with the peat-o-philes out there being underwhelmed with the lack of ferocity in the phenols here.  If you’re expected that typical Laphroaig earthy, medicinal smokefest…forget it.  This is so much more.  But also, so much more restrained.

All in all…a fine whisky I really enjoyed.  No wonder Prince Charlie loves this stuff.  Said to be his favorite malt, I can only imagine he has more than a few bottles still squirrelled away.  Good sir, when one day you read this (and of course you will) perhaps you’d be so kind as to share a bottle with a friendly Canadian.  😉

A subtle and refined Laphroaig.  Austere and sublime.

Nose:  Very nice fruits.  A little peach and pear lingering behind a light gauze of smoke.  Vanilla cupcake, dusted with the fairest bit of nutmeg.  A touch of orange and maybe sweet pink grapefruit with sugar.  A gum-like note.  May be a little sherry influence, but I’m not certain.  Some salty/briny seawash notes.  Creamy vanilla.  The smoke is there, of course, but very restrained for a Laphroaig.  The toned down elegance here reminds me of the subtleties Ardbeg 17 is built on.

Palate:  A little drier now.  Some grassy notes and a left turn into some rather surprising white wine notes (Sauvignon blanc).  Chocolate.  Some smokiness and apple.  Generally I’d prefer a little more firepower in terms of abv, but 43% works just fine here.  Better nose than palate.

Thanks to our mate, Dan, for sharing this long gone gem with a small crew of the great unwashed at my place.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  The Whisky Exchange

 Posted by at 10:38 am
Aug 082013
 

Laphroaig 10 y.o. Cask Strength (Batch 002)138

56.3% abv

Score:  89.5/100

 

About time we had another run at Laphroaig, aye?  Any opportunity to butt heads with this bludgeoning, lumbering beast is a welcome respite from the mundanity of day-to-day.

While some may fret at the lack of consistency in single cask or small batch bottlings, I love ’em.  There’s an element of excitement and anticipation since, to crib everyone’s favorite Gump-ism, y’never know what you’re gonna get.  There’s no room for stagnation.  And yes…I get that it’s nice to have a few go-to dependable drams, but at the end of the day…life is short.  I like change.

Enough drivel.  Here’s Batch 002 of Laphroaig 10 y.o. Cask Strength.  And, as expected, it’s an elemental monster.   Laphroaig releases are never really a surprise (until you discover the depth of fruits in some of the older expressions, that is), but they’re also never really the same from release to release.  There’s a framework, or skeleton of course, but the dressing is always a little different, much like Ardbeg.  These minor tweaks and quirks are what keeps me coming back to what is arguably Islay’s most unrestrained peat monster.   

Further…it’s hard not to give Laphroaig a bit of extra credit when most of their releases are bottled at 48% abv or higher, but taking that additional step in bottling at barrel strength elevates my appreciation a notch further.  It’s a dram made for those who appreciate bold flavours and intense experiences.  This natural, naked state is what whisky should be.

Pretty sure Batch 001 was just slightly better, and I also recall several drams of Batch 004 really warming our rainsoaked selves at the distillery a few months back, but that doesn’t diminish the impact here.  This is a damn fine whisky.  If you can find it…buy it.

BTW…not really certain how exactly the batch numbering works with these Laphroaigs.  As you can see by photo above, this is a Batch 002 at 56.3% abv.  I have also seen Batch 002 releases at 58.3%.  Ummmmm…ok.  Wouldn’t that inherently make it a different batch?  Any clarification that anyone out there can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Nose:  Peat n’ pepper.  Briny and fishy notes.  Smoke, o’ course.  Iodine, and yes…medicinal notes.  Lemon and lime.  Rubber bands.  Green ju-jubes.  Slightly flinty.  Surprisingly sweet.  Salt licorice.

Palate:  Smoky and sweet and lots of peat.  Tar and rubber…like bicycle tire.  Some sweet sherry notes, methinks.  A little bitter.  Licorice again with a LOT of lemon.  Fennel and green apple skins.  Turns slightly white wine-ish on the palate.  Very, VERY lingering.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 9:15 am