Wednesday 23 January 2013

Tasted #6: Laphroaig 15yo

Most whisky fans would be all too familiar with Laphroaig's standard 10yo offering, and likely their Triple Wood and Quarter Cask releases too. Perhaps even their 18 and 25 year old releases, if lucky enough.

Not everyone would have heard of the 15 year old however, largely because it was discontinued some years back, replaced by the 18 year old.

Since then, bottles have been going for silly money through some outlets, so when I came across the chance to buy a bottle for a decent price last year, I jumped at it. I always enjoy having whisky with a backstory on my shelves, and if that whisky is no longer sold, even better.

Laphroaig 15 year old (Distillery bottling, 43% ABV, 15 years old)

Nose: Peat smoke, but not in your face as you'd expect with an Islay (especially a Laphroiag). Fresh fruit, sweet, but with a smokey undertone. Pleasant.

Palate: The peat is initially subdued, with the sweet characteristics found on the nose coming through. The peat quickly shines through, though not overpowering. 

Finish: Hmmm, odd. It's a long finish, but the smokiness only remains for a little while at the back of the throat, What really lingers is the spice. Warming, but not smoky in the way (say) an Ardbeg finishes. Pleasant, but different.

Jim Murray called this a "hugely disappointing, lacklustre dram" and "woefully short on complexity" but I can't agree. It's not my favourite malt, not even my favourite Islay malt, but it's unusual and complex in a way plenty of Islay malts aren't, and overall a very pleasant dram.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100

 - Martin.

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