I only got a small olfactory glimpse of this one as I had to share a sample with two fellow attendees at the Laphroaig tasting in Albannach I told you about on Monday. Unfortunately, over-attendance at a previous tasting meant there wasn’t enough of the nectar for everyone to have a measure to themselves. I’m determined to rectify that when I get to Islay for the Feis Ile. This is a generous whisky, and a generous whisky calls for a generous measure, and I’m not really the kind of chap who goes in much for self-denial.
Thankfully, although the sample was small, the whisky was not – it had such a big character that the tiny sip I got was enough to let it express itself to my tastebuds:
Nose: Quite farmyardy to begin with, then wet flax, linen and a delicious sooty smoke – the signature Laphroaig coaldust aroma. Old school Laphroaig of the best kind.
Palate: Richer than expected, with both a big coal hit and a syrupy, sherried sweetness. Very seaweedy. Develops woodsmoke. Power, sweetness and complex peat / smoke characteristics, with a reassuring weight on delivery. An accomplished, polished dram.
Finish: Very long, with a big spicy tingle and the sweetness coming through. Long coal burn. Salty. Keeps going. Wow, this really is long. Terrific.
Comment: Much, much better, in this reviewer’s opinion, than the first batch of 25yo which was bottled at 40%. The extra strength gives this dram a far more assertive personality. This is classic old Laphroaig at the top of its game.