Laphroaig Select is an ode to the distillery’s history. According to their website, Ian Hunter, the last family member owner of the Laphroaig, was one of the first distillers to select bourbon casks to age his whisky in. He would then marry this whisky with Laphroaig traditionally matured in European casks.
This new expression of Laphroaig is a blend of whiskies matured in different types of casks: Oloroso sherry butts, American white oak (non-filled with bourbon), PX seasoned hogsheads, quarter casks and first fill bourbon casks. They created six different blends. Members of Friends of Laphroaig, the distillery’s whisky club, voted for their favorite, gave it a name and voila! We have Laphroaig Select.
The nose starts off with that unmistakable Laphroaig peatiness. I do get some herbal, oak, and sweet toffee and fruit notes. The peat smoke isn’t as strong as in other expressions of Laphroaig, but it’s definitely prominent here. Taste-wise, this whisky is pretty sweet. Even sweeter than the Quarter Cask expression. Toffee candy and vanilla up front. I also get some peat smoke underneath the sweetness, along with a little seaweed and cinnamon. The long finish carries vanilla and smoke becoming dry.
Laphroaig Select is a bit of a departure from their house style The candy-like sweetness throws this a little out of balance. It isn’t a bad blend, but not what I expected. I prefer the 10-year-old Cask Strength if I’m choosing.