Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 115.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Introduced in 2009 as a replacement for the much-loved (and by many regretted) 15yo, just over a five-year period later this 18-year-old also went out of production, some say replaced by the Lore.
Obviously, as had already happened with the 15yo, also this ageing model has been mourned by enthusiasts, also considering the affordable price at the time.
Trying to follow the commercial and corporate policies of the various distilleries, complete with diatribes, can also be amusing but ultimately an end in itself: I find myself with a generous sample in my hands, and thankful to be lucky enough to be able to try it.
The nose is quite gentle, with the peaty, medicinal notes sliding over a bed of fruit (apricots, oranges, melon) and sweet aromas of vanilla, Catalan cream, nuts. The whole is elegant and balanced, with saltiness and barbecue coming through without overloading the tones, in a decidedly unusual nose for Laphroaig but intriguing.
On the palate it raises the tone slightly, a spicy pepper and ginger flavour pushes the peat into its smokier guise, where the marine and meaty sides go hand in hand, filling the mouth with an oily patina. Citrus fruits are also more prominent, with oranges and tangerines, while sweeter notes end up in the background, soaked in fruity and vanilla aromas. More full-bodied than on the nose, over time it accentuates its iodine character with the appearance of medicinal impressions creeping in among the spices. Touch of liquorice and chocolate, with a slight hint of wood in the background.
Long, salty, ashy, spicy finish with brushstrokes of vanilla.
An unusual yet recognisable Laphroaig, with an elegant balance on the nose that is only partly reflected on the palate, which is more traditional in its diversity. A fascinating variation on a theme, definitely worth trying, with peaks of interest that don’t disappoint.