Some Laphroaig's today. Just a straight official vertical.
Nose: Burning hay and grass, smoke, bonfire, huge peat smoke. Sweetness beneath, some fruit, spices, cotton wool, savoury note- Bacon?, sea salt, sticking plasters, iodine.
Taste: Soft arrival with some apple, peaty development with salty seaweed, kelp, lots of hay and new moan grass, burning hay and grass, some sweetness, oak, spices, mineral- Flint.
Finish: Medium length. A little aggressive with iodine and some chilli.
The classic, original peat monster.
The 15yo would fit in well here but I've already reviewed it. Gave it the same score as the 10yo.
Fast forward 8 years:
Laphroaig 18 48% (Old Version)
Nose: Rich and complex. Classic Laphroaig peat smoke offset by a creamy vanilla sweetness. Toffee, medicinal notes- TCP, cough syrup, bandages, bacon/cured ham note, lots of liquorice root, aniseed, honey. Soft fruit in the background- Apple and a coastal mineral note- Flint, seashells, briny sand.
Water: More aromatic- Cooking bacon, more coastal- Brine and seaweed then more creamy and sweet- Candy and cinnamon rolls. Tropical fruit- Mango, pineapple, banana.
Taste: An instant creamy sweetness quickly develops into huge Laphroaig peat smoke, but more sweet and less harsh than the 10yo. Burning grass, ash, charcoal, TCP, but a toffee and vanilla sweetness throughout, burning caramelised sugar. Building oakiness- Liquorice and aniseed. Big coastal note- Sea salt and shells, kelp, wet granite and flint, iodine. A little tropical fruit towards the finish- Banana, mango and pineapple.
Water: Less peat, more sweetness. Fruity sweetness- Apple and raisin, more tropical fruit too- Mango and pineapple.
Finish: Long length. Coffee then lingering briny peat.
This was actually the 1st bottle of whisky I ever bought. Less peat with more fruit compared to the 10yo.
After another 3 years it should be even less smoky and more fruity.
Laphroaig 21 200th Anniversary 48.4%
Nose: Lovely. Perfect balance of tropical fruit and aged peat smoke. Vanilla, toffee, mango, pineapple, apple, an amazing fresh orange note, cinnamon. Medicinal with bandages and sticking plasters, a little mineral, lots of rotting seashore- Kelp, seaweed, sea salt, seashells. Oak developing with aniseed and liquorice.
Water: More soft and gentle. More vanilla and toffee, less fruit. More oak, chocolate.
Taste: Gentle and sweet. Amazingly fresh and tropical- Mango and pineapple, spiced with cinnamon and fresh ginger. A long development on peat smoke and seashore- Kelp and seaweed, sea salt building with big oak notes going into the finish.
Water: Softer arrival, toffee apple, fresh citrus- Lemon and orange.
Finish: Long length. Old oak with some peat smoke.
Just as good as the 25yo, if not a little better. As with the 25, the balance really makes this special. Reminds me of being in the warehouses.
Funnily enough that's my 200th whisky I've tasted this year. Hopefully I'll taste even more in 2016!
Update: I have tasted my 21 again and I have to say it really is beautiful, much better than the 25yo from 2015 I tasted at the distillery.
Updated Score: 88/100