No two ways about it. I’ve been a pretty lucky soul. This is another one of those spectacular drams I’ve been fortunate enough to try year upon year. I think to date I’ve tried the ’08, ’09, ’11, ’13 and ’14 versions of this quarter century cask strengther, as well as the more restrained (though still lovely) 43%er that came years back. All were great (even that latter lightweight). Some were exceptional.
This was tasted as part of that recent G4 event I wrote up a couple weeks back. In almost any other range this would have been the showstopper malt tp close it all down with. In this case, however, it sat middle of the pack. What I’m trying to say is maybe take that 91.5 with a grain of salt. Tasted in a different range it may have notched an extra point or so.
Pretty obvious what you’re getting with a dram like this. Old, faint peat and only hints of the smoke and iodine that so characterize younger Laphroaigs. The fruits are emergent and the sweetness has been ratcheted up. Oak is an outlier. Kinda like an unpresuming frame around a gorgeous work of art.
Alright. So, that’s a gem of an old Leapfrog. Easy to share kind words, as one would likely suspect. Up next on the radar: Select and Lore. Sharpen your knives, guys and dolls. Things are about to get ugly.
Nose: Roman nougat candy. Very soft peat and just whiffs of smoke. Lime (both sweet and tart). White pepper. Notes of ripe melon. Chewy candies. Plenty of orange. Soft chocolate. Faint hints of rubber. Anise.
Palate: Juicy and mouthwatering arrival. Very creamy and lush. Licorice right off the bat. Yeah, there a peaty smoky edge here, but not overly large. Sour fruit. Fresh cracked pepper. Soft spice notes. Anise or fennel. And…yeah…more licorice.
Thoughts: Top tier malt
*Thanks to the kind anonymous benefactor for this one.
– Image & words: Curt