A perpetual favorite of mine and most (errr…all) of my mates ’round here. And it might actually be my favorite 25 year old distillery bottling on the market, now that I think about it. Laphroaig 25 is always the perfect marriage of dead peat (i.e. faint and faded with time) and soft fruits, tiptoeing towards the realm of tropical. I know some folks out there are looking for the coal fire wallop of young phenols in every glass they pour, but the truth of the matter is that Laphroaig is one of the most spectacular malts out there if left alone for a couple decades in good oak.
This is the 2017 edition, and I believe it’s as the others: a mix of bourbon and Oloroso casks. Either way, it works a right treat. I don’t think we need to say much more.
Nose: Soft smoky undertones. Lime, melon and mango. Pineapple and chest rub. Threads of white and milk chocolate. Skin-on almonds. Just a faint ammoniac barn-ish smell. Iodine (this is Laphroaig, after all!). Oysters. Kinda…sooty and charry. Wine gums. Dead flowers. I love how this one opens up.
Palate: Salt water taffee and black licorice. Cola cubes. Cantaloupe and grapefruit. A bit flinty, with a nice olive brininess. Oily vanilla. Heavy cream on a bowl of citrus fruit wedges. Grilled pineapple. More of that eucalyptus. Coriander. Grilled whitefish. Ahhhh…that grapefruit tartness; love it.
Finish: Clean and vibrant. Good, lengthy fade. Leaves Granny Smith apples, lemon and smoky grist notes behind.
Thoughts: As I said, a perpetual favorite, held to incredibly high standards. And fortunately, always seems able to rise up and meet them. Can’t help but think that maybe one less butt and a few more bourbon barrels in the vatting would have taken this up a couple points.