"This Laphroaig bottling has got a very promising nose, exactly what you would like from a 30 euro standard bottling from this distillery, but the palate is slightly simple"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
The signature of Laphroaig has to be the medicinal notes that are loved by many peat heads and makes it easily distinguishable from most other Islay distilleries. These notes are believed to come from the way they do their peat-smoke drying of the barley, and that is why they still partially perform their own floor malting. According to Whiskypedia, their distillation involves a very long fore shot run and deeper cut that pronounces the phenolic notes compared to others. Throughout history they have preferred the use of bourbon casks for standard maturation, although special versions now include maturation in PX sherry or Madeira casks. Since 2005 they are under the ownership of Beam Suntory, whose portfolio also includes another Islay distillery, Bowmore.
The first noticeable impressions involve ashes, seaweed and bandages together with a few drops of lime juice. The smoke has indeed a “Laphroaiginess” that swirls around coal, bandages, cigarette ashes, lemon skin, and lime and orange juice. A hint of tequila in the background, and some herbal notes, which I cannot directly pin down. It gets sweeter and fruitier with the addition of some grapefruit, orange-flavoured sweets, and honey. Very pleasant and a full-filling nose for this youngster.
Licking an cigarette ash tray, then coal dust, a drop of lime juice, maybe also orange juice. The iodine, seaweed and bandages stay rather in the background. and come forward a little later. However, the development is really short. Whoosh, and the ashy gust is gone. Too bad, I was really enjoying this!
This Laphroaig bottling has got a very promising nose, exactly what you would like from a 30 euro standard bottling from this distillery. But then the palate, we do have a slight problem with that. It is so short that you need directly a next sip to actually enjoy it. A good way to sell more of your spirit probably, as the bottle empties fast. Anyway, a few years more in the quarter casks, which now supposedly is about 8 months, and I think it would have a really good whisky.
A big thanks to for the sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •