I've got a very special one today from Laphroaig. This was bottled independently by Signatory vintage but was selected and bottled for The Whisky Exchange.
After being distilled on Islay in 1998, from what I can only assume was barley steeped in Unicorn tears, it was filled into a refill Sherry butt that must have previously held 1970's Clynelish and was made from oak air dried for many years by someone gently blowing air on it 24 hours a day, only taking small breaks to rest.
I would assume this because something special happened in that barrel over 15 years.
Colour: Light Amber
Nose: A huge sherried peat monster. Big Sherry sweetness excellently balanced by the Lahroaig peat and medicinal notes. Thick and oily, syrup, raisin, loads of TCP, bandages, sticking plasters, cough sweets, Calpol. There is some peat and smoke but a more medicinal brute. Despite itself there's still some lovely juicy citrus maintaining a freshness and balancing it out- Lime and orange.
After a bit- Engine oil, sea spray, fresh sea air, iodine, some liquorice and orange chewing gum.
Water: Orange! More earthy too, a little iodine, juicy citrus with some lemon too, the medicinal notes have receded.
After time- Wet leaves, forest floor, resinous sweetness, then more complex sweet sherry with excellently balanced citrus and peat.
Taste: Very, very powerful. Amazing arrival on waves of thick sweetness- Raisin and sherry, orange, overwhelmingly awesome, developing long amazing smoke- Peat, kiln, flint, and medicinal sweetness on TCP and bandages then sticking plasters and sweet orange. There's a minerality all through it too. Incredible development.
Water: More sweet, lots of intense orange, sweet lemon and lime. Big beautiful peat kicking up again, kiln and flint then some ginger and white pepper developing. Perfect balance and long development. Very juicy and sweet and going a little sour into the finish. B.E.A.uoooootiful...
Finish: Long length. Fades easily on sweetness but a peaty note stays and stays with an orange undercurrent.
Water: More orange and sour lime, less peat.
Savagely beautiful. Expert balance of flavours. Power, complexity, everything you could want from Sherried Laph at this age.
A magnificent Laphroaig that really sings!
Well done to all involved in making this wonderful whisky.
Thanks for reading!
Network Average: 74.8
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just about OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good