Laphroaig Distillery Bottlings Tasting Notes

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Laphroaig, Scotch Whisky A-G

Laphroaig Select 40%


Tasted: Sept 2014

Soft aromas with an obvious sherry influence of coffee coated, dried citrus fruit. Gently peated and sooty with a light medicinal note and hints of iodine and cabbage water. A touch of youthful spirit can be detected and with time the creamy American oak comes through.

The palate opens with some heavy caramel oak notes and some burnt toffee. The peat is struggling to get through the weight of sweet vanillins. The rich sherry sits in the background but it’s adding to the overwhelming oakiness. Given all the oak there isn’t a huge amount of complexity here and the palate feels watery and under-powered. Medium length with the peat smoke finally coming through and the oak bittering a little. Conclusion…. Underwhelmed.

Laphroaig Select 40%

Re-Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Pleasantly deep, opening with fresh but sweet barley, squashed apricot fruit and a touch of straw. Lightly medicinal with dusty, herbal peat and a touch of oak.

Palate: Soft, if a little watery. The oak is a little more assertive and milky and the fruit has an almost tropical sheen. Hints of barley, coffee, very light peat and heathery herbs appear.

Finish: Long with the dusty peat lingering along with the light medicinal notes. Pleasant cocoa powder after-taste.

Conclusion: Wonderfully fresh. However I think it would have benefited from being bottled at a higher abv.

Laphroaig Lore 48%

Tasted: Apr 2016

Nose: Thick, tarry sherry, moist, smoke infused, malty fruitcake with hints of wood, orange/ tangerine and sea air. Slightly nutty with developing walnut and pecan notes.

Palate: Burnt wood, earthy peat and thick treacle. Malty and smoky with some drying tannins, which are balanced by the moist fruitcake. Beautiful, pure, peat dust coats the tongue along with a touch of salt.

Finish: Quite drying and salty with lingering notes of citrus rind, green nuts, green wood and bitter dark chocolate, but a thread of treacle adds balancing sweetness.

Conclusion: Wood+Peat+Treacle = An entertaining mouthful!

Laphroaig 10 year old (green stripe) 55.7%

Sherry/ Btl: ?/ Tasted: Sept 2006

Full on peaty and saline aromas, followed by rich sherried fruit. Very complex for its age and definitely ‘in yer face’. Awesome palate, rich and fruity with young medicinal peat smoke, bog myrtle, herbs, salt and coal tar. The depth of fruit is stunning and intense with an immense concentration. Lovely finish with the phenols, tar and peat melding into a complex mouth full.

Laphroaig 10 year old 57.8%

Sherry. Batch 001/ Bottled Feb 2009/ Tasted: Apr 2009

The rubber and peat oil aromas fight like hell to get through the omnipresent herbal sherry. It takes awhile to get to grips with this nose, but youare rewarded with a good complexity of briny dried fruit, toffee and banana. There’s a vague whiff of youthful cereal, which nestles just under all the sherry, but said sherry cask really holds back the phenolics.

On the palate thankfully the sherry plays second fiddle to the leafy, bog myrtle peat, menthol and tar, but it’s not long before the wood attempts to fight back. Intensely sooty on the middle with a faint rubberiness and plenty of windswept briny coastal characteristics. The alcohol provides a breath taking, tongue tingling experience, but at this strength there’s not much of a finish to talk about.

With water the sherry is pushed into the background as the peat takes centre stage along with some herbal accented orange and tangerine. The palate is sweeter, more candied and gentler. Mouth filling and soft, the rich sherry tarries awhile longer before drifting off into a tarry, salt encrusted, coastal finale.

Laphroaig 10 year old 55.3%

Sherry. Batch 003/ Btl: Jan 2011

Quite a subtle nose, along the lines of Batch 001. The sherry certainly holds the phenolics in check and it is the cask sweetness which is at the forefront. Rich and quite malty with some oily banana, cocoa and charred wood amidst the developing briny, phenolic peat. Superb complexity with hints of bog myrtle, seaweed, earth and some youthful cereal.

Flavours of wet tar and creosote hit the tongue first followed by mentholated, medicinal peat and ooh look more tar! The palate is the reverse of the nose with the sherry wood playing second fiddle, mind it does fight back with some pleasant leafiness. It moves into a slightly rubbery, charred wood middle before descending into a salt encrusted finish. You’ve just gotta love this stuff!

Water mutes the nose a touch and its shows a lot more of its oily side. It’s possibly a touch on the sugar coated side now. The palate is sootier and gentler and the sherry character is more prevalent and keeps the rampant peat in check. It’s a lot sweeter now and like the nose it has a definite candied dénouement. The wood does impart a bit more of an over bitterness to the finish, so personally I would drink this neat.

Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength 57.2%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Dense and honeyed but quite tightly wound and a little unyielding. Hints of white fruit, rhubarb, barley, gritty spiced peat and burnt wood. With time the oak becomes quite creamy. Water freshens, lessens the oak and brings out a hint of salt.

Palate: Again quite tight but honeyed. Lightly mentholated with dusty, tarry peat and plenty of sweet oak. The peat becomes quite medicinal on the middle. Dilution makes it a little watery and flat.

Finish: Good length with the peat coming through by the shovel full!

Conclusion: An odd one. Neat it is a quite tight, but water doesn’t really do it many favours!

Laphroaig Triple Wood 48%

Aged in Bourbon oak plus quarter casks. Finished in European Sherry.

Tasted: Apr 2010

Quiet a leafy nose, both from the subtle Sherry cask influence and the bog myrtle. Faintly astringent and coastal. It’s not long before the American oak wades in adding its creamy vanillins to the coastal peat and youthful rubberiness.

The palate begins like the nose with the leafy sherry and a shed load of herbs and bog myrtle. This is followed by the intense coal dust, peat and waves of astringent coastal salty goodness. The sherry finish sort of blunts the raw edges, whilst the quarters adds there particularbrand of rounded fruitiness. Superb length with a late mocha/ coffee note and the returning charred wood embers and peat.

Laphroaig Triple Wood 48%

Re: Tasted: Dec 2014

Obvious sherry aromas straight off the bat along with dense, chunky toffee’d American oak, which blankets the peat somewhat. Hints of tar, citrus attempt to emerge but the oak has really sweetened the aromas.

The palate is big, sweet and glossy with plenty of toffee’d American oak and nutty sherry overlaying the dusty peat smoke and earth. The sherry develops hints of burnt raisins and could easily be mistaken for Pedro Ximinez. A touch of tarred rope and rubber comes thorough on the finish which attempts to hide the slight blemish. Very dry, dusty, cocoa powder after-taste with the sherry sweetness still lingering at the edges.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask 48%

Tasted: July 2005

Clean, young and very pungently peaty with iodine, coal tar, coastal rubber bonfires, sawdust and an almost sherried sweet orange fruitiness. Dry, med bodied, rubber tyres burning on a coastal bonfire, an unsubtle roarof peat (lots of it!) and coal tar, and hints of bog myrtle and alpine grass, yet its time in small casks has definitely rounded the edges. Is there some sherry cask malt in the blend?

Laphroaig Quarter Cask 48%

Re-Tasted: Mar 2013

A lovely soft nose showing plenty of creamy vanillins followed by the typical medicinal, iodine and peat. Full and rounded with the salty notes balancing the rich oak. With time a lightly smoked meat and a touch of soy emerges along with hints of earth/ manure.

Quite full and like the nose displaying a fair amount of lightly creamy, sweet oak vanillins, but some slightly sweetened barley is noticeable. The medicinal, seaweed, iodine and peat comes a rollin’ in with waves of delicious, mouth-watering Islay-ness! Lovely length with a smoky, tarred rope, light Bovril, creosote and peat smoke finish. Quite a dry finish with some light bittering from the oak and plenty of salt and spice. A lovely sweet ‘phroaig.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask 48%

Re-Tasted: Sept 2013

An intense and briny nose which is slightlky soapy with hints of manurey-peat and sweet oak. Probably not as heavy on the oak as previous bottlings but it adds a pleasant sweetness to the aromas. Gently peated with seaweed and medicinal notes.

The palate opens with a lovely wave of coal smoke and dry peat. Astringent, briny coastal notes arrive and the middle is dryer and woodier than the last bottle I tasted. Very intense, fresh, mouth-watering middle with seaweed, light iodine and earthy-peat. Good length with just a touch of vanilla. It lacks the sweetness of previous bottlings and thus the finish is somewhat puckering! But it’s still very enjoyable.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask 48%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2014

A very manurey nose with plenty of earth, brine and decaying grass. Richly oaked and pretty sweet with hints of fleshy apricot and light medicinal notes. That richness is almost akin to being aged in a refill sherry cask.

The palate is soft and round, again the oak puts in an appearance early on but there’s plenty of lightly earthy/ medicinal peat, apricot, brine, iodine and mouth-watering citrus. Lovely depth and balance with a lingering herbal/medicinal finish.

Laphroaig 15 year old 43%

Tasted: Aug 2006

Rich and fruity aromas, quite heavy and oily with mature peat smoke, iodine, and kippers. Lovely complexity, phenolic and slaty with a hint of bog myrtle and rubber wellies!

On the palate it is rich and fruity, again with mature peat smoke, iodine, kippers and rubber. Lovely depth, with a soft intensity. Oodles of coastal fruit on the middle and a long lingering finish with hints of bog myrtle.

Laphroaig 18 year old 48%

Tasted: July 2009

The deep burnished gold colour gives a clue to its age. A simply stunning nose with the maturity evident from the start. Slightly honeyed fruit, earth, straw, iodine and gentle medicinal peat waft from the glass. Slightly smoky with a perfumed vanilla note on the edge. Given some timearomas of cod liver oil along with hints of bog myrtle and camphor emerge.

The palate is quiet oily, opening with the cod liver oil, vanilla and mature, gently sweet fruit. This is followed by waves of subtle, crumbly, pure peat, whilst the elevated level of alcohol gives it a freshness and bite to the mid palate. Mature, gentle and mellow with a very long salty/ coastal finish, leaving behind a faint iodine after taste.

Interesting to see that time has expunged the fishy and tarry notes of youth, but it has gained a lovely, gentle fruity mellowness.

Laphroaig No Age Statement ‘Pedro Ximinez Finish 48%

Travel Retail 1ltr

Matured in Maker’s Mark casks then 7-9 months in quarter casks, followed by 12 months maturing in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

Tasted: Aug 2012

A pungent, oily nose of rock pools, rubber, brine and plenty of pure marzipan. Lightly medicinal peat with a touch of tar along with some youthful cereal notes. Very full and rounded with a late manure and earth note. Very entertaining with the PX cask adding a slight sweetness which is definitely in the background and adds a sweetness and fullness top the nose.

The palate is soft and quite sweet and sticky with gentle, slightly medicinal; peat, bog myrtle and salt cutting through the oak and PX sweetness. Quite dense and softly fruited with a touch of spice. Long, slightly mouth-watering finish with a serious herbal finale. It has a reasonable degree of alcohol, 46%?, probably 10-12 year old Laphroaig or a vatting as there feels like there is some mature spirit at its core [tasted blind] Good length with the peat smoke entwined with the sweet PX fruit. Quite a sticky finish which is almost but not quite cloying. As it was tasted blind I didn’t realise it was a PX finish as it is well integrated and came across as quite a sweet ‘phroaig!

Laphroaig ‘Au Cuan Mor’ 48%

American & European oak (Travel Retail)

Oh dear. One sniff tells you that all is not right with this bottle. It’s earthy and dirty with a plastic/ sulphur note. Yes there is some sweet peat and the usual ‘phroaig notes, but this is not good spirit, which they have tried to hide by using some tainted sherry butts.

The palate is flat and caramelised with burnt wood and some metallic sulphur notes. Murky, hot and sharp with some sweet peat and parma violets. Very bitter and coal dusty finish with gritty smoke and peat. It’s not pretty!

Laphroaig An Cuan Mor 48%

Re-Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Heavy treacle and molasses with a herbal rye-like note. Huge, chunky sherry with a generous helping of sooty spice and peat. The nose is just about balanced although the sherry has the upper hand. With time hints of linseed oil and violets appear.

Palate: A big mouthful of chewy, molassed sherry with hints of violet and salt. Underneath the peat rumbles and begins to force a way through. With time the sherry shows an almost Manzanilla-like nuttiness.

Finish: Very long and nutty with the peat smoke playing second fiddle to the sherry.

Conclusion: A pleasant peated, sherried Islay but the sherry is a little too dominating.

Laphroaig Cairdeas Origins 51.2%

Bourbon Casks and Quarter Casks/Btl: 2012/Tasted: Nov 2012

I believe this is a 50:50 vatting of 13 to 21 year old spirit matured in Bourbon Casks with 7 year old spirit aged in Quarter Casks. It’s an interesting if slightly curious nose. By ‘phroaig standards it’s very subtly peated and fairly heavy on the creamy oak, which maybe dampening the peat to certain extent. However it still has plenty of iodine, fish, brine and midnight violet notes. You can definitely see the core of mature spirit at work here along with the younger spirit adding a touch of creamy barley and porridge oats.

The palate is soft and creamy as the oak shows first. It certainly has a mature fullness along with a fresh, youthful edge. Like the nose the peat is slightly blunted but does show some medicinal character along with notes of barley, iodine and tar on the middle. The oak grips and bitters the finish. Along with the salinity it makes for a rather dry ending. In saying all of that it is still a very enjoyable dram.



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