A sherry-matured Leapfrog that landed in Calgary sometime in 2016 (though elsewhere in 2015, the year of the distillery’s bicentennial). Before going any further…yes, this was hellishly expensive, and no…I did not buy a bottle for myself. This one was tasted with the G4 (an infamous little conclave even more exclusive and secretive than the Illuminati, I hear) a few weeks back at an exceptional tasting which I am now only hours from sharing details about.
As to this one, well…you can’t honestly expect me to say bad things about a 32 year malt from one of my top three distilleries, can you? Ain’t gonna happen. This is an exceptional dram. It’s the other kind of sweet this time. Not the vanilla-rich, bourbon-delivered soft fruits we usually find in old Laphroaig, and that come from American oak, but the spicy, jammy, dark fruit sweetness from European sherry wood. This is a different sort of look on Laphroaig, especially for this age. (Though it doesn’t hold a candle to the viscous, syrupy 27 year old we’ll discuss in coming days)
While I’m sure opportunities to sample this one are few and far between, if the occasion does arise, don’t be too stingy to pay for the event or dram. The whole bottle…well, that’s a different story.
Nose: Massively fruity and jammy. Rich in cinnamon and other baking spices. Notes of tobacco. The peat is vibrant and at the core of this one, somewhat surprising at 32 years. Very earthy, by nature. Some black licorice or anise. Like oiled leather.
Palate: More peat now. And smoke. Grapefruit pith (a favorite note). Seems quite spice-heavy, without being top heavy. Again some licorice. Cinnamon. Rubber notes and tar. Long finish. Gorgeous all the way through.
Thoughts: Well…what can we say? Amazing. The only disappointments are the price tag, limited number of bottles and scarce opportunities to enjoy it. But let’s be grateful we did. (Should note: I do generally prefer the more naked Laphroaigs)
*Thanks to a G4 member for letting this one happen. Appreciate it.
– Image & words: Curt