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