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