"Lovely mixture of tropical fruits and the usual medicinal smoke and associates toned down to a more comfortable level, which reminds us of what Laphroaig taste like.
(Photo from Whiskybase)
This 28-year-old Laphroaig is part of the yearly limited edition releases of the distillery, which consists this year of a blend of differently sized casks including quarter casks, (bourbon) barrels and (sherry) butts. This mixture was put together 12 months before bottling it in 2018. It has received good critics from various bloggers, which doesn’t improve the spirit obviously, but it awakens our curiosity to taste it. In particular, since we do not often get the chance to taste a Laphroaig from the old times (when they knew how properly make good whisky, etc etc blah-di-blah, you know the drill). I had a quick impression the other night and I have to say I was impressed (oh no, spoiler alert!?). But things might be different on another night, you never know.
The moment I put my nose above the glass a range of beautifully balanced scents starts to whisper from the glass. The first that I recognise are ripe fruits like oranges, tangerines, pineapple, mango, and maybe even some unripe banana. Could these be the famous Laphroaig tropical fruits, which we see so rarely nowadays? Then there are old ropes, a hint of acetone, paint solvent, and some kind of roots. I already find it very elegant and complex. Old hessian sacks, mashed potatoes with cream butter and nutmeg (my mother’s recipe) and caramelised orange zest. The typical Laphroaigian smoke and medicinal notes have taken a seat in the back, although they are clearly present, but the fruits are the main players. More chemical and medicinal notes appear after a while, along with some minty scents and tinned pineapple. The nuances are really beautiful with each particular scent showing a slow evolvement during a single sniff. It is slightly savory, and when leaving it for a while more herbal notes, a hint of minerals, stones, and fresh seafood appear.
Oh perfect strength that puts a wheel of flavours into motion. Oranges, fresh mango parts, tangerines, and whatever other tropical fruits you can think of, followed by licking spilled orange juice from a wooden table (you do not always have a cleaning cloth at hand), then oranges thrown into a bonfire at the beach with the wind bringing salty sea water drops and kelp fragments to your lips. All right, there might be a risk that I am about to enter a delirium. What.a.dram! A flinter of smoke in the beginning, but the fruits take center stage and reappear after a few seconds with each sip. They are also much more prominent on the palate compared to the nose. The fruits are slightly sour, fresh and vibrant despite the age. More tangerines, fresh peaches, nectarines and sour prunes. It is becoming slightly drying in the finish, but the freshness saves it from becoming too dusty and dry.
I definitely very fortunate to be able to taste this beautiful Laphroaig. Lovely mixture of tropical fruits, reminiscent of Laproaig’s glorious past, and the usual medicinal smoke and associates toned down to a more comfortable level. This reminds us of what Laphroaig can do, and let us wonder as much why they keep making these, well whatever they are making nowadays. Except for the 10 years CS version then, which is come much closer to what we had today. Anyway, let us hope that someday they look around to their glorious past and realise their potential. Meanwhile, I have another sip of this stunner.
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 •