I love Laphroaig. It was one of my first and truest whisky loves. I like to think that no matter what missteps the brand may ever make (and there have been a few; I’m looking at you, Select) I will still be there waiting.
We weight these things, not by the failings, but by the successes, and there is simply no comparison to the heights reached by some of the Laphroaig I’ve drunk (25 year olds, 30 year olds, 40 year old, cask samples, single casks, etc). So it’s with a somewhat forgiving heart I’m going to try to talk about Lore. I heard a while back that this one was to be a replacement for the 18 year old. That was whisky shop talk, but there may be some basis in truth. After all, we’ve watched 18 go the way of the dodo, only to be replaced by a limited edition 15 year old, which also abra cadabra’d its ass out of here. Either way, it’s a sad state of affairs when we see a beloved and mature classic with a respectable price point (18 years and only about $100 locally!) disappear in favor of a $200 NAS offering. Ouch.
The point has been made, so let’s not belabor it. How about the whisky in the jar? How does Lore stack up to the rest of the Laphroaig range? In short…pale, flat and uninspired. It’s slightly unbalanced and lacking in the oooomph I’m looking for in Laphroaig. I’d drink it, of course, but only on someone else’s dime. Probably best to take a couple bottles of 10 or QC over this, if you want my two cents.
Nose: Lime. Warm rubber. Shellfish. Smoke and peat. Eucalyptus. Vanilla. Surprisingly restrained. Salt and pepper. Licorice and tar. Dry, faint Lapsang Souchong. Watered down, maybe. Too heavy on the rubber notes. Like bicyle tires in the sun or new Wellies. Very dry and…flat.
Palate: So muted. Better than Select, but by nickels and dimes, not dollars. More peat, smoke, and licorice. Dry smoke. Earthy and herbal. Some pepper and chilis. Everything dull though. Slightly chalky and minerally. Some green candy notes. Not a lot in the way of finish.
Thoughts: We went from 18 to 15 to this? Ouch.
– Images & Words: Curt