This year, Laphroaig has reached a milestone 200th anniversary. To celebrate, the distillery has released several limited edition whiskies. Earlier this year we saw the (brief) return of Laphroaig 15-year-old, said to be a favorite of Prince Charles. Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015 was introduced at this year’s Fèis Ìle. Both great whiskies. Then Laphroaig announced a bombshell – a 32-year-old expression.
A very limited release, Laphroaig 32-year was aged exclusively in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s been bottled at 46.7% abv and is available at a suggested retail price of $1,200.
Thirty-two years is a very long time. After such an extended maturation process, that infamous Laphroaig peaty punch is gone from the nose. Instead, lovely stewed fruit (tropical fruit & red apples), brown sugar and baking spices are most prevalent aromas. The peat smoke here is secondary, lifting the fruit notes above all else. On entry, there’s a whiff of smoke that leads to honeyed and spiced fruit, and a hint of orange zest. A brief bitter note shows up. It lies somewhere between coffee and dark chocolate. The sherry cask influence is evident in the form of spice and a very light wine note. The smoke lurks in the background and, like in the nose, is not dominant. Old and slightly astringent oak shows up for the dry finish.
Amazing. Simply amazing. Everything in this whisky is so beautifully balanced. My gripe is there’s not enough of this whisky to go around. It’s sad, really. Anybody collecting this bottle should really pop the cork and pour a dram. To sit on a shelf and collect dust is the real sin. After all, whisky is made for drinking. For those with deep pockets, this is an easy recommendation.