Laphroaig

Review: Laphroaig 28-Year-Old

Ultra-aged expressions of Laphroaig can be some mighty fine whisky.  For 2018, the distillery has released a 28-year-old expression.  The whiskies that make up this expression have matured in different sized casks, from quarter casks to butts.  For the last year, they’ve been married together in sherry casks. Peated whisky in sherry casks? I’m sold.

Bottled at 44.4% ABV, Laphroaig 28-year-old has a fantastically interesting nose with hints of toffee, dried herbs, tropical fruit, anise, and cloves.  On the palate, fresh fruit juice and stewed pears are matched with toasted cedar staves, peppercorns, brine and grilled mushrooms.  The finish is long with sweet peat, grilled tropical fruit, and spice.

The Islay-based distillery has done it again. It’s released a carefully matured whisky showcasing some of its best qualities. This expensive ($799) bottle is a treasure trove of classic Laphroaig aromas and flavors delivered in droves. The tropical fruit and spice notes are prominent, as the famous medicinal-like notes come across in a more laid back fashion. Delicious. Yes. Expensive? Definitely. Worth it? If you can afford it. 9/10

www.laphroaig.com

Thanks to Laphroaig for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Laphroaig 27-Year-Old Whisky Review

Laphroaig ends the year on a high note with the release of its 27-year-old single malt. This expression is the latest entry in the brand’s Super Premium series, following exquisite 32-year-old and 30-year-old whiskies, released in 2015 and 2016, respectively. For this 2017 release, whiskies matured in refill hogsheads were transferred to first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and refill quarter casks. After more than a quarter century of maturation, Laphroaig 27-year-old is bottled at 83.4 proof, or 41.7 ABV. It would be safe to assume this is cask strength given its random proof.

The whisky carries rich aromas of tropical fruit, leather, peat, citrus, and vanilla. On entry, vanilla cream develops into key lime pie, tobacco leaf, and tropical fruit punch. Hints of earthy peat and smoke begin gently piercing though but don’t overpower the other flavors. Of note is the whisky’s oily mouthfeel, which coats the palate in flavor. Though Laphroaig 27-year-old is a low 83.4 proof, it doesn’t present itself as thin or watered down. The finish is long and slightly warming with a citrus-tinged smoky character.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a fan. Laphroaig has another winner on their hands with this release. It is a satisfying, well-matured, and balanced whisky. Laphroaig lovers with deep pockets ($750 a bottle) should seek this out quickly, as it’s a one-time release. Highly recommended! 8.5/10

Laphroaig.com

Thanks to Laphroaig for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017

Photo courtesy of Beam Suntory

Mmm… Laphroaig.  It’s one of those whiskies that divides the masses.  One either loves or hates the whisky’s trademark heavily peated character.  There generally isn’t an in-between.  In fact, the brand has embraced the public’s honest assessment of their whisky with their hilarious #OpinionsWelcome campaign.  Here’s the latest spot, entitled “A First for Friends.”

Every year, Laphroaig releases a different expression under their Cairdeas (gaelic for friendship) umbrella.  The 2017 edition is a cask strength version of Laphroaig Quarter Cask.  The 57.2% abv whisky started with a 5-year plus maturation in first-fill bourbon barrels, followed by a six month secondary maturation in quarter casks.  The resulting whisky features no added color and is not chill filtered.

The nose is full of that signature Laphroaig funky Islay peat, as well as vanilla and tropical fruit.  It’s a touch more closed off at cask strength, but opens up with a splash of water, which brings about more of the fruity notes.  On the palate, it’s slighlty less sweet than the standard Quarter Cask, but packed with flavor.  Toffee, brine, and tropical fruits, especially mangos, define the whisky as much as the whallop of ashy smoke in the background.  Some young oak and herbal notes appear on the backend.  The finish is long and complex, featuring notes of vanilla cream, spice and smoke.

At a reasonable price increase compared to the standard Quarter Cask, Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017 ($80) is firing on all cylinders.  It’s younish for sure, but that allows for a larger peaty punch compared to older Laphroaig expressions.  Only 177 casks were emptied for this release, so those who want a bottle should act fast.  Recommended! 8.5/10

Laphroaig.com
Thanks to Beam Suntory for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.