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

September 7, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Three Laphroaig 
It’s been a trying week at Whiskyfun HQ Edinburgh. So, if you don’t mind, let’s just have three theoretically good Laphroaig. Well, two for sure, the first one is technically a mystery but I’m told it ‘could’ be Laphroaig. I suppose that’s in the same way that any anonymous glass of whisky could be a Laphroaig. 


Islay #2 25 yo (48.6%, Boutique-y Whisky Company, 1522 bottles)

Islay 25 yo #2 (48.6%, Boutique-y Whisky Company, 1522 bottles)
Colour: gold. Nose: Rather unmistakably 1990s Laphroaig I would say. It shares quite a bit with several of these recent SMWS single casks of similar age. At first it’s all mineral salts, sandalwood, wet rocks, hessian, beach pebbles, oily rags, coal smoke and gentle medical tinctures. Very lovely I have to say. Get’s a tad more chalky and develops some notes of lemon juice and wool. Very fresh and coastal. Mouth: Indeed this feels almost blatantly Laphroaig, which I’ll never complain about. More things like minerals, pebbles, flint smoke, TCP, iodine drops, pink sea salt and black pepper. Some notes of fresh shellfish and lemongrass. Not über complex but very enjoyable and easy Islay whisky where this more delicate side is a real asset. Finish: long, lemony, sooty, mineral and saline. A prickle of medicine in the aftertaste. Comments: A lovely dram and I would be bewildered if turned out to be anything other than Leapfrog. We’re kind of on the cusp of 90 here, but seeing as it’s so enjoyable and I docked a point off the last Boutique-y whisky I wrote notes for, we’ll correct that imbalance today. Excellent start to the session. 
SGP: 466 - 90 points.



Laphroaig 28 yo (44.4%, OB, 2018, quarter casks, bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry butts)

Laphroaig 28 yo (44.4%, OB, 2018, quarter casks, bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry butts)
The wording on the rear label of this one declares it to be “…matured for 28 years in a suite of artfully selected casks”. It was also finished in sherry casks for 12 months. So, a fairly contemporary degree of wood tinkering has gone on. Let’s see… Colour: coppery gold. Nose: rather thrillingly, on first nosing there’s an initial rush of tropical fruits of a style more reminiscent of an old 1980s bottled 10 year old for example. Guava, mango, kumquat, star fruit etc. There’s some very soft medical embrocations underneath that along with a similarly soft, coastal-flecked mineral aspect that was more prevalent in the Boutique-y. Touches of steel wool, pine resin, roof pitch, TCP and light herbal teas. On the nose so far it’s really excellent I have to say. Mouth: the fruits are not as voluminous on the palate, rather it’s more towards seawater, dried seaweed, light tarry extracts, dried herbs, bonfire smoke and things like chalk, clay and mercurochrome. I don’t really detect any overtly active wood so perhaps many of these casks it’s been in were not that active. There still a really pleasing amount of distillery character on display. Some notes of lemon peel, bergamot and vapour rubs. Lovely stuff. Finish: Good length and rather sooty and camphor with a nice oiliness and sense of a linger textural fatness. Comments: I was dubious about this frightening juggle of casks, but it hasn’t interfered with the distillery character. On the contrary, this feels like a very lovely and rather luscious transitional style of Laphroaig. I’ve tried a few of these various official aged Laphroaigs they’ve put out in recent years and, I have to say, I’ve found most to be very good. 
SGP: 555 - 90 points.



Drum roll please… 



Laphroaig 16 yo 1969 (53.2%, Sestante)

Laphroaig 16 yo 1969 (53.2%, Sestante)
A serious and super rare bottling. The 40% versions in this series are a little more common, but this cask strength version is extremely scarce now. Colour: gold. Nose: superbly salty and sharp but with a beautiful layer of passion fruits and tangerines draped over everything. The kind of aroma that really screams 60s Laphroaig. Fresh shellfish, an abundance of medical embrocations, bandages, antiseptic, gauze and then hints of olive oil, gorse, fresh herbs and sandalwood. Just wonderful, aromatically dazzling old school Islay malt. The peat is there but it holds a three part harmony with the coastal and medical elements in perfect balance. Touches of herbal tea and eucalyptus oils. With water: preserved lemons in brine, soot, grass, oils, medical tinctures and gentle peat smoke. Totally beautiful! Mouth: bath salts, minerals, pebbles, crushed sea shells, ink, chalk, black olives. The flavours are riddled with umami, savoury seasonings, cooking stocks and a firm salinity that intertwines perfectly with fruits and lightly smoky cereal tones. Salty butter and hints of mustard seed. With water: gets thicker in texture. Fatter, oilier and fuller with a more punchy, grassy-edged smokiness. Peppery too. Finish: wonderfully long, lemony, mineral, chiselled, medical and with a pure and really vivid coastal freshness. Comments: Another totally dazzling 60s Laphroaig. Fruit, peat, seashore and hospital all in harmony. 
SGP: 666 - 94 points.



Very happy with today’s wee session. Big hugs to Olivier and Dirk! 




More tasting notesCheck the index of all Laphroaig we've tasted so far







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