Wednesday 25 March 2020

Laphroaig 16 & 1999 SMWS 29.173 Reviews

Hi everyone,

Two 16 year old Laphroaig’s to review today.
I was excited for the new OB as it’s a decent age, decent strength and Laphroaig. The only thing that grates me slightly is that I paid £20 less for the 18yo, but that was a few years ago now and such is life.
And since we seem to be in the middle of a little apocalypse I opened a 16yo Laphroaig from SMWS that we can compare against.

Laphroaig 16 48%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Nice mineral/seaweedy blast, soft vanilla, soft malt, plenty of peat and iodine, fresh bandages, clean classic Laphroaig. Great nose.
Taste: Soft and oily arrival, building mineral and medicinal flavours, iodine, bandages and honey, then more fruit with a fresh lemon/lime and under ripe mango thing, then back to more peat with sea soaked rocks drying in the sun.
Finish: Medium/Long length. A touch of rubber into the finish then salt and pepper, quite dry. Not as good here.
Finish lets it down a little but a great, slightly softer Laphroaig. Much prefer this to the 15yo 200th Anniversary.

Laphroaig 1999 SMWS 29.173 59.8%
'Forget time and space'
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Fresher and fruitier than expected with plenty of citrus, lime rind, grapefruit juice, light malty smoke backing it, salty samphire, driftwood bonfire. There is a medicinal touch to it but its quite subtle and in the background, clean bandages.
Water: Loses the fruit and now it's more about the earthy malt, mud after rain, the orange is coming back now.
Taste: Clean arrival, very bright and citrusy, then suddenly grips the tongue with heavy heavy smoke with lots of minerality and salt, licking salty rocks, sand saturated with sea water, samphire, grapfruit and dirty orange, stunning oils and really lovely balance.
Water: Softer and more fruity with an incredible orange flesh thing I remember from samples at the distillery, some seaweed, soft but heavy smoke. Takes me right back to the distillery.
Finish: Long length. More petrol-y here, delicious and super oily, a little lemon zest perhaps. With water there's a coal and ash thing going on.
Bottled at 16yo from a refill Bourbon barrel. The whisky I got for my engagement! Just fantastic indie Laphroaig, oily, balanced, citrusy, salty, a little medicinal. Not quite the equal of ‘Sausage Sandwiches and Oil Rigs’.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #849-#850
Whisky Network Reviews #1021-#1022

Network Average: 75.2
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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