The end of the year brings two new Laphroaig bottlings – a 30-year-old and 25-year-old expression. Laphroaig 25 is a blend of whiskies matured in second-fill European Oak sherry casks and ex-bourbon casks bottled at cask strength, or 48.6% abv. Now we’re cooking! There’s something interesting about extra-aged Laphroaig. Sure, after a quarter century sitting in sherry and bourbon casks, the peaty bite that the distillery is so famous for starts to round out, but it still retains the distillery character.
How does it taste?
Lovely. Simply lovely.
The nose is bright, rich, and full of juicy seville orange, dark brown sugar, and smoked bacon. A touch of dried fruits and hay also appear. On entry, Laphroaig 25yr is more vibrant than expected for a whisky that is a quarter century old. Smoked fruits are tempered by freshly squeezed oranges. Waves of vanilla, toffee, and spiced cherries follow. Laphroaig’s signature ashy peat smoke more or less provides a soft bed, complimenting the rest of the flavors. On the back palate, tobacco and aged oak lead things into a long, slightly bitter and fruity finish, with a wisp of smoke.
Big question – is it worth the asking price of $500 a bottle? Short answer, yes. In fact I own a bottle from a couple of years ago. Long answer depends on how much you’re willing to pay for a bottle of whisky, but that’s a discussion for another time. Either way, make no mistake – this is a beautiful bottling of Laphroaig. 9/10
Thanks to Laphroaig for the sample! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.