Maybe I’m wrong here, but I’d guess there just may be something a little older than 18 in this Laphroaig. I don’t think that happens much nowadays, but in ages past (errr…a few years back even) it wasn’t necessarily a rare thing to find some brilliant old whiskies being married with younger casks to strike a harmonic whole.
With single malt whisky experiencing the boom it currently is, every drop counts. Especially the now virtually priceless drops of older stocks. I’d venture that in current days your 18 year old whisky is usually no more than 18 years and 6 minutes before it is ripped from the cask and bottled for retail. Yes, yes…I’m a cynic, I know.
Anyway…here we have an 18 year old Islay malt from the legendary Laphroaig that boasts a profile far surpassing the number on the bottle. Pleasant surprises like these don’t come often. (Hmmm…maybe that’s why there are a couple extra bottles of this on my shelf).
The nose is where evidence for my aforementioned theory on this malt is most prevalent. Big vanilla and sweet tangerine. Orange and chocolate. Pear drops and bubblegum. Black licorice jujubes…right outta the bag and sorta carrying the scent of the others as well. Some sweet smoke and faded dirty peat notes.
Man…what a beautiful orange tang on arrival. Back to pear and syrupy fruit cocktail. Peat and smoke (but none too heavy for a Laphroaig). Chocolate and Werther’s Originals. A bit of tobacco pungency. Finish is slightly drying, kinda lengthy, completely pleasant.
Laphroaig young enough and old enough to be in its prime.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt