Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2013


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

February 25, 2014


A few interesting Laphroaigs

Tja, Laphroaig… It’s not the first little verticale of Laphroaig we’ll do, but it’s always a thrill. And I just noticed that we’re approaching WF’s 300th tasting note for that illustrious distillery, please be sure that I’ll make that one a very special one! But in the meantime, let’s have these babies…

LP4 (54.8%, Speciality Drinks Ltd, Elements of Islay, 2013)

Lp4 (54.8%, Speciality Drinks Ltd, Elements of Islay, 2013) Five stars No age statement, this baby should be quite young, let’s see… I remember I found Lp1 just excellent by the way (WF 88) but 2 and 3 never reached our shores. Colour: gold. Nose: what’s not to like? Perfectly medicinal and smoky, and quite rounded and even smooth at that, this one’s all balance. It’s not complex whisky, but it’s perfect in its simplicity. Embrocations and artisan cider. With water: more mineral and more textile, so to speak. Old coal bag, damp hessian, fresh paint, putty… And wet dogs! (we’re really sorry, dogs). Mouth (neat): all very perfect. Big, powerful, superbly acrid and zesty, very smoky, lemony, salty, liquoricy… Can you smoke grapefruit liqueur? With water: yeah yeah yeah, the tropical fruits are coming out! Passion fruits, mangos… This one is winking at the 1960s, if I may say so. How could we be against that? Finish: long, clean, fruity and smoky. Smoked mangos and lemon balm. Comments: this session starts well, doesn’t it. SGP:557 - 90 points.

Laphroaig 14 yo 1998/2013 (56.6%, A.D. Rattray for Brachadair, cask #10481, 212 bottles)

Laphroaig 14 yo 1998/2013 (56.6%, A.D. Rattray for Brachadair, cask #10481, 212 bottles) Four stars You need not write many lines with a 1998 Laphroaig. Colour: white wine. Nose: more austere than Lp4, more naked, more mineral, more ‘chiselled’. Beautiful but I think it needs water or it’ll remain a little too closed. With water: wet dogs and sheep! And hessian, apple peelings, seaweed, iodine, touches of vanilin… Mouth (neat): a very punchy ultra-classic naked 1998. Huge lime, brine and kippers. Huge kippers, how scary is that? Big pepper too, then more sweet things. Apple juice and limoncello, I’d say. With water: it got really sweet. Grapefruits and oranges with a lot of pepper and, of course, peat smoke. Finish: very long, peppery. Chillies, almost. Comments: pleasantly brutal, but it’s not only for malt masochists. A great example of a very natural 1998 Laphroaig. SGP:358 - 87 points.

Laphroaig 15 yo 1998/2013 (60.8%, Signatory for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry, cask #700393, 551 bottles)

Laphroaig 15 yo 1998/2013 (60.8%, Signatory for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry, cask #700393, 551 bottles) Four stars and a half Colour: gold. Nose: we aren’t very far from the Lp4, except that this one’s got more menthol, turpentine and camphor. It’s absolutely wonderful, even at this very high strength. With water: it got younger! Raw peated malt, working kiln, engine oil, exhaust, earth, putty, paint, cigar smoke, bark… Mouth (neat): bang! Huge, peppery, acrid, very ashy, very smoky… Tabasco from Islay? I think you cannot avoid water in this context. With water: hits you even harder despite the fresh fruits that pop out (oranges and lemons). Quite a beast! Finish: long, briny, smoky, citrusy… In short, very Laphroaigy. Comments: I had first thought I’d like this one better than Lp4, but I think Lp4 was a little more civilised and I like civilisation (how interesting, S.!) SGP:458 - 89 points.

Yes, let’s try to find older, gentler, more civilised Laphroaigs… Maybe such as this one…

Laphroaig 21 yo 1990/2011 (46%, High Spirits, Colour Collection)

Laphroaig 21 yo 1990/2011 (46%, High Spirits, Colour Collection) Four stars A beautiful label. Italians! Colour: hay. Nose: ahhhh, this one’s almost peaceful. We’re much more on organic, natural notes. Seawater, herbs, almonds, light brine, olives, smoked salmon and kippers, sea shells, oysters… Granted, the peat is more subdued, but it’s all more elegant and refined. I also like these touches of carbon paper and ink very much. Mouth: quite unusual, I have to say. It’s much saltier this time, saltier than the youngsters in any case, with also a rather strange combination of sweet spices. Oysters and shallot, perhaps, then a little vanilla fudge. Salted fudge? Finish: quite long, very salty but the fudge remains there. Comments: not the usual Laphroaig, but I think its relative unlikeliness makes for a significant part of its assets. SGP:446 - 87 points.

Let’s have a last one, maybe an OB this time…

Laphroaig 23 yo 1989/2013 (48.9%, OB, for The Nordics, 1800 bottles)

Laphroaig 23 yo 1989/2013 (48.9%, OB, for The Nordics, 1800 bottles) Four stars This one was bottled exclusively for Sweden, Norway and Finland. It seems that some Laphroaig collectors from other countries are looking for it these days… Colour: gold. Nose: it’s the style of the High Spirits, more or less. Well, rather more than less. A lot of brine and almond milk at first nosing, then passion fruits and mangos, then seafood. Oysters, old Russian leather (what?), just distant whiffs of fresh paint, a few walnuts that suggest light sherry was involved, touches of sour apples as well… That’s not the nicest part in my opinion. Let’s check the palate… Mouth: very Laphroaig but not very big, with many ripe apples and quite some honeydew in the arrival, which makes it a little smoothish for Laphroaig. My opinion, eh! Touches of chlorophyll and liquorice wood, bitter almonds, grapefruit skin and then more salty smoked salmon. Also raisins that might not go extremely well here. Sour apples. Finish: of medium length. Orange juice, apples, pepper, salt and peat. Comments: very good but not quite great in my opinion. There’s something slightly disjointed, a kind of odd fruitiness, I think this baby’s not a blade like the others could be, while it’s not as complex as some older ones. But hold on, it’s still very, very great whisky from Islay! SGP:546 - 86 points.

(With thanks to Angus and Franco)







Whiskfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed