"This got me slightly in a tangle, don't get me wrong, this is certainly not a bad expression, though, I was expecting more after reading all the raving reviews"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
I read that somebody called it the return of the legend. In earlier days the 15-year-old Laphroaig was quite popular among fans, before it got replaced by the (obviously more expensive) 18-year-old version. In 2015, Laphroaig brought it back, temporarily, to celebrate their 200th anniversary. At that time, it was priced very pleasantly (±€80), which you do not find too often for special editions celebrating a distillery’s birthday. The distillery was founded (in 1815) by Donald and Alexander Johnston, and stayed in the family until 1954. Nowadays it operated under the flag of Beam Suntory.
Rather shy in the nose, well at least for a Laphroaig. The smoke is only faintly present, although I can clearly find liquorice root, sea salt, apple cider, and remarkable shot of mint liquor. In addition there are (only) a hint of oranges and lime skin. Furthermore, I get some burned magazines, interesting…
Now it is full of oranges, along with some (more) smoke, which is still rather gentle and quite well hidden. More and more oranges, as we are in the middle of Bourbon cask territory. Like somebody emptied a whole basked of them into the mash tun. No particular problem with that, but I am missing some of the typical Laphroaig notes. I mean, they are there, but they quickly hide when the oranges come around en masse. Some liquorice root, some kind of salty liquor, brine, bring the coastal more to the forefront. I should probably be cautious with water. Adding some drops gives even more oranges, now mingled with ashy smoke and mint liquor. I must say that they mix very well. There is a bit of chocolate in the finish, hinting at some sherry cask influence somewhere.
This got me slightly in a tangle. Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly not a bad expression. Though, I was expecting more after reading all the raving reviews. But you should never do that, do you? The nose was slightly underwhelming, although the palate made up for most part, there were just too much bourbon-cask infused oranges. But still recommended, I did enjoy it very much.
A big thanks to for sharing the sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •