Jan 122011
 

Shouldn’t 25 year old siblings taste the same?  After all they were born and raised ( we hope ) on Islay.  They both share Spanish and American heritage.  They both have a yellow gold hue appearance, round bodies and have the same smokey nose .

The nature vs. nurture debate is one of the oldest issues in Whisky (the other is did the Irish invent Whiskey).  The debate centers on the contributions of materials (Nature) such as cereals, yeasts, wood and Production Methods (nurture) such as cut, still variation, storage methods.

Well let’s taste them and see what we can discern about these two 25 year old siblings.

LAPHROAIG 25 YEAR OLD 40 % ABV.  PARTLY MATURED IN OLOROSO SHERRY CASK

NOSE: Aged smoke, winey, almonds and soft apples & pears

TASTE: Sweet ripe nectarines.  Raisins

FINISH: Medium and a bit more

ASSESSMENT: Nice Laphroaig even without the big robust smoke.  Could use with a little more % of alcohol

Laphroaig at 25 years.

LAPHROAIG 25 YEAR OLD 51 % ABV.  PARTLY MATURED IN OLOROSO SHERRY CASK 2009 EDITION

NOSE: Lively smoke but more medicinal than the 40 %.  Light bubble-gum and pears

TASTE: Smooth sweet tropical fruit.  Creamy caramel.  Stunning

FINISH:  long. A little harsh in the middle then warm at the end

ASSESSMENT: Liked the taste far better than the nose.  Nice dram

Although they shared many similar traits, they really tasted different. Was it the wood influence (first / second / third fill casks)? Maybe the blender vatted older Laphroaig with the 25 year old casks or more bourbon casks in one. Maybe one was matured on Islay and one was matured on the mainland.

I say vive la difference.  Without some difference by unknown factors or change in the process our endless quest to find the perfect dram would cease. After all it’s all about the journey.

Maltmonster

 Posted by at 6:08 am

  3 Responses to “Tale Of Two 25 Year Old Laphroaigs”

  1. […] Laphroaig 25: All Things Whisky compares a 40% ABV bottling to a heavier 51% ABV bottling. […]

  2. […] whiskey reviews. I’ve found that whiskey reviews are very in depth. Posts like the ones from All Things Whiskey give reviews that cover the alcohol’s smell, finish, assessment and of course, taste. Its so […]

  3. Ok. Wow. I was fortunate enough to sip both of these in the lair of the beast himself (Maltmonster). Actually..these two alongside a rich and splendid 21 year old Laphroaig and wizened old 30 year bottling.

    Laph25 at 40% – Great dram. Mellow, mature and restrained.
    Laph25 at 51% – Utterly breathtaking. I fell in love with this one, and wondered if my bag was big enough to snag the hefty heel of this monster. The flavors (and a profound chocolate note) not only appear more readily, but explode!
    Laph21 – Wow. At cask strength this was a beaut. Rich and sweet.
    Laph30 – Hmmm. Some great old oak notes take this up a notch or three, but it suffers from low bottling strength. That is my only gripe with this, because it was again…simply brilliant.

    I’s a lucky lad to have tasted these. The night featured several gems (of which I won’t speak here), but even so…a couple of these stood out.

    Cheers, MM.

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