Google The Laphroaig sessions 2022 part zwei

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

Mars 23, 2022


The Laphroaig sessions 2022

Part zwei

As planned and always more or less randomly…

Illegal Shipyard Riot 13 yo (56.7%, Dramfool, bourbon barrel, 211 bottles, 2020)

Illegal Shipyard Riot 13 yo (56.7%, Dramfool, bourbon barrel, 211 bottles, 2020) Four stars and a half
Got to love anagrams, I am a fan myself. What's more, this is officially a single malt, so not Williamson, which is a blended malt. Colour: white wine. Nose: this one's almost exclusively on smoky brine and ashes at first, then on the expected bandagey and maritime aromas, with some ozone. Millimetric and beautifully simple not-that-old and not-that-young Laphroaig. With water: raw wool and porridge, grist, fireplace… Mouth (neat): a little raw kirschwasser and gin at first, then gherkins and olives in brine. A few drops of rubbery oil. With water: goes on with more sour, briney elements, more gherkins, olives, capers, iodine and liquorice… Finish: long, tight, vertical, more mineral and even a tad metallic now. What we call 'a blade' (ha). Comments: wild and pure Laphroaig with no obvious signs of any kind of oakiness.

SGP:467 - 88 points.

Williamson 15 yo 2006/2021 (53.9%, The Whisky Barrel, hogshead, cask #TWB 1027, 257 bottles)

Williamson 15 yo 2006/2021 (53.9%, The Whisky Barrel, hogshead, cask #TWB 1027, 257 bottles) Four stars and a half
This baby's nicknamed 'It's Been A Long Way'. It is both a Williamson and a single malt, so I suppose I was wrong, not all Williamsons are technically blended malts. Colour: white wine (chardonnay). Nose: this time there is some cake, butterscotch, custard, vanilla cake… but hurray, no coconut. Very lovely whiffs of coffee with a drop of milk (not a latte) over some classic coastal and bandagey notes. I'm reminded of some earlier official 10 CSs, but not of the mango-y first batches, naturally. With water: coffee and hessian, earth, oysters… And more raw wool. Mouth (neat): awesome salty citrus. Huge tight lemonness, with the cask's roundness coating it all. I think I'll have to mention limoncello again, as well as a little juniper and caraway. With water: ultra-classic lemony Laphroaig, with nothing beyond here. Laphroaig for purists. Finish: long and even more on 'smoked and salted limoncello'. Someone will really need to try to make that one day. Why not Beam Suntory? Some unexpected raspberries and strawberries in the aftertaste. Comments: bordering perfection, very stylish.

SGP:567 - 89 points.

Laphroaig 18 yo (56.4%, Hunter Laing, The Kinship, refill oloroso, cask #HL 55134, 609 bottles, 2019)

Laphroaig 18 yo (56.4%, Hunter Laing, The Kinship, refill oloroso, cask #HL 55134, 609 bottles, 2019) Four stars and a half
I am surprised I hadn't tried this one before. Let's hope there are no clashes between the peat and the oloroso. Colour: gold. Nose: dead easy, it's a breeze, no clashes whatsoever as the sherry has been behaving like… say David Niven in most of his movies. Having said that, I am finding touches of strawberry jam once more, but those are extremely subtle. Other than that, cigars, walnuts, earth, teppanyaki sauce, creosote, liquorice and, naturally, ointments and cough syrups. No complaints. With water: the raw wool is back. Mouth (neat): rich, creamy, sweeter on the palate (chestnut purée), with superb salted citrons and pink grapefruits, Timut pepper, a little jasmine tea perhaps… With water: gets a little grittier and leafier. Green walnuts, lemon marmalade, touch of ginseng perhaps, ginger and turmeric… But it would remain rounder all along, especially after that Williamson. Contrasting styles. Finish: long and a little rich and compote. Some flintiness and some tobacco in the aftertaste. Comments: a couple of scares here and there but it all went perfectly well.

SGP:556 - 89 points.

Laphroaig 14 yo 1999/2013 (58.2%, High Spirits Collection for I love Laphroaig, Italy)

Laphroaig 14 yo 1999/2013 (58.2%, High Spirits Collection for I love Laphroaig, Italy) Five stars
This one too I should have tried much earlier. Colour: straw. Nose: a sweeter one, narrower in a way, more on smoked pears at first, then ashes and charcoal. A little closed, I would suppose water will wake it up, let's try. With water: bandages and hessian, raw wool, kelp on the beach, floated wood… Mouth (neat): indeed, a much sweeter one, with plums and berries everywhere, some jams, even syrups, chicory coffee… Very unusual and certainly good fun. With water: there, tropical fruits popping out, this time we're really reminded of old-style Laphroaig. Passion fruits and blood oranges. Finish: long, citrusy. Oysters, mint and grapefruits in the aftertaste. Comments: it needed a little water and a little time, and then became absolutely wonderful. It was worth both the wait and the Vittel.
SGP:656 - 90 points.

Laphroaig 21 yo 1998/2020 (59.9%, Douglas Laing, Old Particular, refill butt, cask #DL14020, 228 bottles)

Laphroaig 21 yo 1998/2020 (59.9%, Douglas Laing, Old Particular, refill butt, cask #DL14020, 228 bottles) Four stars and a half
This one was bottled in December 1998 and bottled in April 2020, in case you're a number freak. But warning, we're having heavy peat and probably heavy sherry again on the desk… Colour: deep gold. Nose: a few struck matches and even bits of black truffle at first sniffing, all the rest being dominated by smoked raisins, heavy honeys, American barbecued ribs and bacon, pickled and caramelised small onions and milk jam. A little balsamic gravy too. Tremble, mortal… With water: some sulphury touches once more, really a lot of earth and mud, carbon, crude chocolate/cocoa, the wildest cigars (earthy Italian Toscani cigars), espresso while we're at it… Mouth (neat): huge, peppery and sweet. Reminds me of some pepper liqueur we've tried a few years back. Jalapenos. NOT Fireball, though. With water: sour cherries, oranges, leather, tobacco, a muddiness again, rustic pu-her-style teas from the Himalayas (not making this up, I promise), and pepper again. Softer pepper, little chilli. Finish: long, between mud, oranges, cough syrup (eucalyptus) and heavy-smoked bacon. The heavier peppers are back in the aftertaste. Comments: what a fight in you glass! A very heavy drop, at times a bit tiring but full of charms, rather in the style of the famous official 1974 for LMDW but of a lesser magnitude. Remember that 1974?

SGP:567 - 88 points.

Perhaps an official, quickly?

Laphroaig 15 yo (40%, OB, 'Unblended', UK, cork, +/-1980)

Laphroaig 15 yo (40%, OB, 'Unblended', UK, cork, +/-1980) Five stars
Actually, this is the rare 'big red 15 with cork' version for the UK market, so at 40% vol. instead of the rather more common 43% or even 90°proof/45% vol. for the EU or the US. Colour: pale gold. Nose: this stunning tropicalness, starting with pink bananas and getting close to small Indian mangos, with the whole Atlantic ocean in the background. Whelks stewed in mint sauce. No, really, plus a large pack of Vichy lozenges. This nose is incredible but we do know that at this strength and after so many years in a bottle, things may get a little awry on the palate, let's see… Mouth: it's alive, its alive! Beeswax, heather honey, manuka too, menthol, cockle soup, mouthwash (you wish!), samphire, lemongrass… Sure it would tend to whisper rather than shout, but everything's in place. Finish: short, as expected, but fresh and never cardboardy. Stunning almondy and salty notes. Comments: miraculous not-quite-fragile Laphroaig. I think I like this one even better than last time, but after so many years, each bottle will be a little different.

SGP:645 - 91 points.

Good, a very last one. I've already tried it, it is totally legendary, but I never wrote a proper tasting note for it, only a few lines hastily jotted down, last time in 2007. I suppose it is time we got down to it, is it not…

Laphroaig 15 yo 1967/1982 (57%, Duthie's for Samaroli, sherry)

Laphroaig 15 yo 1967/1982 (57%, Duthie's for Samaroli, sherry) Five stars
Some would add 'with Distillery drawing' to the description. I have this baby at WF 98 in my list, a rather solid score since I've already tried it a few times. But yeah, I never really wrote any decent tasting notes… By the way, we never mention prices (that would be vulgar) but I've seen on Whiskybase that it's now going for north of 60,000€ a bottle. Cra-zy. Colour: golden amber. Nose: wandering throughout an eucalyptus forest very close to the sea, in the midst of summer, while drinking Yquem 1900 (like) and smoking a perfectly taken care of pre-Fidel double-corona. More after I've added a drop of water… With water: earths. All kinds of earths, especially very rich compost-like earths they use for growing the most precious flowers. Quite some dried kelp too, while walking on the beach at low tide. Mouth (neat): just insane. The definition of utter perfection in whisky, starting with artisanal thin mints, going on with all raisins and honeys of the creation, then abandoning itself to the arms (what?) of thousands of different fruits, berries, herbs, flowers and spices. Now we won't list those or this would start to look like a dictionary and we'd be here for the rest of the day, including the night. But what a glorious list that would be! With water: it's incredible how it would take water. Every percent will add different flavours, going from a rather piney and mentholy smoky profile to luscious jams and dried fruits covered with honey and spices (saffron upfront). And then it would just silence you (I can hear you, who said 'great news'?) Finish: some other whiskies, including some other Laphroaigs, are even longer but this very one's extremely gracious, with even a wee mentholated freshness in the end. Comments: it leaves you breathless. Personal score unchanged. Thinking of Ukraine.

SGP:675 - 98 points.

(Many thanks Aaron, Chris, Jon and Tom)

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







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