Archive for the ‘Laphroaig’ Category

Gleann Mor ‘A Rare Find’ Laphroaig 2004 (12 year old?) 53%

Bourbon Barrel 6012

Dist: Sept 2004 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Feb 2017

The nose is surprisingly youthful and a little feinty with hints of rose petal marc, coffee, subtle medicinal notes and orange. There’s a pleasant malty and salty core. In fact it’s very malty for a ‘phroaig. The peat is fairly subtle and slightly dry and gritty in character.

The palate is very oily and malty with subtle dusty coffee’d and earthy peat. Gently salted with sweet rose petal. Slightly heathery with some Ben Nevis-esque bready notes. The finish is a little masked.

Water freshens the nose and emphasises the medicinal notes. The peat is however still pretty light. The palate now displays loads of sweet barley, straw and earth. Still very malty and pleasantly full. Good length with lingering oily malt, heather and sweet barley. It comes across like a vatting of Ben Nevis and Glen Garioch.

Mackillop’s Choice Laphroaig 1990 (22 year old) 52.1%

Bourbon Cask 11731/ Dist: Oct 1990 Btl: Mar 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

The nose opens with a gentle ashy brininess and a huge chunk of shimmering vanilla oak. That oak is incredibly chunk and adds a delicious vanilla weight and it is pretty oaky by ‘phroaig standards but there is plenty of balancing exotic fruit – greengage, kiwi, green pineapple, green banana and a touch of barley. With time some smoked meat becomes evident along with a light medicinal, tcp note and a touch of iodine. Finally the oak pushes through and dominates the nose, but it’s just so evocative and sweet, even the bog myrtle and peat smells sweet!

Soft, ash infused banana, macerated apricot and greengage open the proceedings. Quite herbal with some resolute oak vanillins. Like the nose it is quite sweet and full with the vanilla oils tempering the light ashy/ woody-peat, charcoal and wood spices. However finally the peat breaks free of the oak shackles on the finish, but the barley-vanilla sweetness hangs in there. Vanilla oils coat the mouth and some feather like wisps of smoke mingle with hints of chocolate and earthy peat on the finish. Wow! Breathtaking!

Mackillop’s Choice Laphroaig 1990 (25 year old) 48.5%

Bourbon Cask 11729/ Dist: Oct 1990 Btl: Jan 2016/ Tasted: Nov 2016

The nose is mellow and richly honeyed with spicy wood tannins, camphor and very subtle medicinal peat. Quite malty with a touch of Bowmore-esque violets and Ardbeggy burnt driftwood. With time the beautifully sweet barely emerges along with bbq smoke infused orange, iodine, soot and earth.

The palate is full and mellow. Malty and dense with baked fruit, tar, bonfire ash, peat smoke, dark honey along with subtle medicinal and iodine notes. A touch of lightly oiled Guyana-esque dried fruit comes through on the middle and the finish is intensely citric and salty with a tongue tingling vibrancy and lingering coffee, salt, seaweed and camphor. Lovely sooty after-taste. A stunning old ‘phroaig, mind for £450, you would hope so!

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Laphroaig 2001 (15 year old) 56.2%

Bourbon/ Code: EDI0187/ Dist: Feb 2001 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

A full and robust nose with earthy peat, coffee, natural caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. The barley has a lovely sweetness, but there isn’t much in the way of coastal character. With time a touch of iodine, herbs and sweet heather appear.

The palate is full and very sooty with gritty peat dust, honey and chunky oak. Quite dense and vanilla’d with seaweed, charcoal, and dark honey on the middle. Long with iodine and a touch of salt, citrus and medicinal peat in the finish. Lovely oily peat and tarry after-taste. Seriously impressive, but is it worth £170?

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Laphroaig 2000 (16 year old) 58.1%

Refill Sherry Butt/ Code: EDI0214/ Dist: Apr 2000 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A dense, rich and malty nose with coffee, earthy peat, smoke and subtle medicinal notes. It becomes  quite herbal and seaweedy with time and a touch of iodine, barley and honey appears.

The palate opens with loads of burnt wood, soot, tar and creosote. The peat is heavy, earthy, oily and dense with a touch of malt and treacle coming through. Quite astringent on the middle. Long and remaining malty and tarry. Wow! That’s a thick and chewy ‘phroaig!

Water makes the nose crisper and fresher, brining out some coastal and lemon notes. The palate is still pretty malty, treacly and tarry with the oily peat lingering.

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Laphroaig 1996 (19 year old) 56.5%

Bourbon/ Dist: Oct 1996 Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: EDI0118/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Full, sweetly oaked with sweet but dusty peat, violets and sweet, medicinal herbs. Wow! This is quite a sweetie! With time it becomes quite barley’d with hints of iodine and salt.

The palate is like the nose – full and sweetly oaked with hints of salt, medicinal herbs, tar and gentle, phenolic peat. The lovely saltiness offsets the oak well and the finish is long and spicy with a dusty peat finish.

 

Highland Laird Williamson 2006 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 2006 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

Named after a remarkable woman called Bessie Williamson, who became the manager of a certain Islay distillery when it was un-mothballed after the end of WWII.

The nose is very buttery and oaky with plenty of sweet and herbal peat. The oak calms down with time and an almost Tequila-esque pulped white fruit note becomes apparent along with hints of rhubarb, manure, cut grass and a faint whiff of aniseed and biscuity spirit notes.

The palate is full and biscuity with malt and plenty of oak. Subtly peated with a little background salty notes and again some Tequila-esque fruit. The earthy and sooty peat and iodine builds on the middle and explodes onto the finish along with salt and medicinal notes. Now, that is a lovely Islay finale!

Highland Laird Williamson 2006 (8 year old) 46%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2016

Briny and medicinal aromas with earthy peat and chunky, sweet barley. Wonderfully fresh with manure, creosote, tar and hints of oak and biscuits.

The palate is quite full, barley’d and biscuit with drying, mouth-coating sooty peat and medicinal notes. Lovely intensity with a touch of citrus, salt and iodine. Long and wonderfully crisp and salty with a mouth-watering medicinal finish with lingering oak notes. A classic Islay.

 

Elements of Islay LP1 58.8%

Bourbon/ Tasted: Sept 2014

A fresh, pungent and medicinal nose with hints of Islay vegetation, fleshy apricot and tobacco. Superb intensity with Laphroaig at it’s stinkiest and manuriest! 

The palate is intense, smoky and medicinal. There is plenty of soft apricot and citrus to balance. Long, with a mouth-watering, grassy, reedy finish. 

With water the nose becomes a little soapy and it emphasises the ferny herbs and manure. On the palate it brings out the citrus fruit rather well. The smoke has become gentler and it allows the gorgeous, slightly sweet barley to put in an appearance. 

Elements of Islay LP5 52.4%

Bourbon/ Tasted: Sept 2014

The nose is fuller than LP1 and showing a lot more oak. Milky and barley sweet with a touch of smoke and medicinal notes.

The palate is smokier than the nose suggests and again it has a liberal dollop of creamy oak and sweet barley. Good length with a biting salty finish and lingering medicinal notes.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2002 (12 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2476/ Dist: June 2002 Btl: Apr 2015/ Tasted: May 2015

Very citric and lightly oiled aromas with a lovely, fresh brininess. Hints of menthol and camphor appear along with some Agricole rum-like herbs. Lightly peated, in fact the aromas are more ashy in character. With time some seaweed, barley and subtle stewed fruits emerge.

Soft and a little subdued with barley, iodine, menthol and sweet peat. Medium length with lingering iodine, light coffee, tar and sweet herbal peat.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2004 (12 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2637/ Dist: Sept 2004 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Lovely, dusty peat aromas with hints of seaweed and medicinal peat. Quite pungent with barley, coffee and a touch of oak.

The palate is full and milky, opening with a subtle saltiness. Gentle peat and coal dust follow and the coastal astringency builds well on the middle. Quite citric and salty on the finish with lingering coffee, seaweed and dry peat.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 1999(?) (14 year old) 50%

Code: OMC2440/ Dist: 1999(?) Btl: ?/ Tasted: Nov 2014

The nose is quite full, sweet-ish, oily and nutty with hints of bog myrtle and brine. Gently, sweetly peated with hints of manure, wet tar and robust barley.

Soft and oily on the palate with a light marzipan oak and subtle sweet peat beginning. Again quite full with plenty of barley and hints of herbs and brine. It becomes fresher as the saltiness develops along with some citrus notes on the middle. Long, sweet barley and sweet parma violet finish and a lightly smoked after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2000? (14 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2371/ Tasted: May 2014

A big, herbal, leafy Oloroso nose. Lightly blemished with a struck match note and hints of treacle, creosote and fairly buried earthy-peat. With time hints of violet, baked fruit and bleached wood appears.

The palate opens with liquorice coated dried fruit and again a struck match note. Full and herbal middle with hard-ish barley, light brine, iodine and medicinal notes. Some dusty peat and drying dusty tannins come through on the finish adding a little dark chocolate. If it wasn’t for the blemish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2000 (14 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2411/ Dist: June 2000 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

A fragrant nose of bog myrtle, seaweed and herbs. Lavishly honeyed (by ‘phroaig standards) but the honey is relatively unsweetened. Fairly gently peated – more smoke than peat and that smoke has a lovely, slightly sweet fragrance.

The palate displays some sweet-ish barley, seaweed, iodine and chocolaty-tar. Building herbal notes and herbal-peat come through on the middle with some unsweetened honey. Long, peat and wood smoke finish. The after-taste is very dusty with hints of violets and lingering herbal notes.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2000 (14 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2450/ Dist: June 2000 Btl: Jan 2015/ Tasted: Feb 2015

Lightly medicinal aromas with iodine, herbal peat, coffee, manure, seaweed and salt. Quite full with barley and a light honey note underpinning.

The palate is pleasantly soft and quite honeyed with building salt, peat and seaweed. Quite barley’d and robust with a touch of oily vanilla. Good length with a lovely dry peat, bog myrtle and coastal finish. A real salt encrusted after-taste!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2000 (14 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2456/ Dist: Jun 2000 Btl: Feb 2015/ Tasted: Jun 2015

Quite toffee’d aromas with vanilla ice-cream, barley, seaweed, medicinal peat, iodine and astringent herbs.

The palate displays as much oak as the nose would suggest, opening with vanilla and toffee. Hints of honey and dry, dusty peat and medicinal notes battle against the oak. Finally the spirit wins and the finish is long, slightly sugared with juicy Seville orange, peat smoke and astringent coastal notes all being released. Now that has some lovely progression.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 1999 (15 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2385/ Dist: Mar 1999 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A fresh and very phenolic nose with dusty peat and medicinal peat mingling with a touch of iodine. Pleasantly astringent coastal notes appear along with a touch of barley and dusty, sweet parma violets.

The palate is fuller as the oak has a greater input. The natural caramels dampen a little but it’s still lightly phenolic with hints of earth and salt. The spirit freshens towards the finish as the salt and citrus get going. Lightly oiled and tarry finish with finally some medicinal peat emerging.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2000 (15 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2494/ Dist: Apr 2000 Btl: Aug 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

Oily, tarry and phenolic on the nose. Pretty heavily peated and coastal fresh with earth and medicinal notes. Still there is plenty of barley and oak beneath with a touch of sweet, heathery peat and mocha emerging.

The palate is very oily and salty, but the oils and the oak arrive fairly quickly. The phenolics are gentler and the peat has a lovely chocolaty character. Lightly medicinal with iodine and a fair amount of wood on the middle. Long, chocolaty with the peat becoming more astringent but the nutty oak lingers and balances. A lovely ‘phroaig!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2001 (15 year old) 50%

Refill Sherry Butt/ Code: OMC2561/ HL12357

Dist: Feb 2001 Btl: Apr 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

A nose of chunky sherry and tar with earthy, primal peat and yet more tar! Intense and complex with hints of sweet blood orange, bog myrtle, camphor and iodine. With time a touch of seaweed, medicinal peat and a lovely mingling of raw sherry smoke and peat reek.

The palate is more polished with old oak and leather. The sherry gently creeps in along with hints of earthy peat and dry wood smoke. Quite ashy on the middle, all set against a tarry, sherried backdrop. Long and peaty with seaweed, smoked bacon, medicinal herbs, orange marmalade, salt and lingering tarred rope and peat. Lovely chewy after-taste. Now that is damn good!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2001 (15 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2586/ Dist: Feb 2001 Btl: Sept 2016?/ Tasted: Oct 2016

Intense peat reek on the nose with a slight, non sherried sulphur note. In fact that sulphur note becomes rather dominant. I’m quite surprised by that as I would have though that 15 years in oak would have been plenty of time to remove those compounds. Hints of barley, white fruit and petrol follow.

The palate is full of sweet barley and a fair amount of oak. The peat is subtler and smokier with hints of seaweed, coffee and salt. Quite a bracing, citrus middle leads into a long and slightly sulphured, dry peat and tannic finish. Not the greatest cask of ‘phroaig I have ever tasted.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 1996 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2276/ Dist: Oct 1996 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

Quite a big, rich, malty and coffee’d nose. Substantial slabs of iodine laced thick peat overwhelm the senses. Seriously deep and dense with a lovely maturity and finally a touch of sweet barley, smoke, creosote and tar.

The palate is densely fruity and honeyed, showing more fruit than peat – lightly baked apple and apricot. The peat hovers in a delightfully dusty, earthy, sooty form. Exquisitely mature with a gentle coastal nuance. Long smoky, violet tinged creosote, tar and duty, crumbly spice finish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 1997 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2347/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: Jan 2014/ Tasted: Feb 2014

The nose is extremely sweet and estery. I know ‘phroaig can be a bit of a sweetie art times but I’ve never come across so much squashed pineapple, apricot and banana before. Lightly medicinal, lightly smoked and lightly peated with just a touch of coastal astringency. A lovely rounded nose with the peat locked inside the sweet malt.

The palate is a little shy to begin with, opening with some sweet barley and subtler fruit. It starts to get into its stride as the light medicinal peat and coastal notes arrive. Lovely length with a sweet fruit and barley fade accented with camphor and bog myrtle. It may take a little while to get going but when it does it becomes beautifully rounded.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Laphroaig 2000 (16 year old) 50%

Refill Sherry Butt/ Code: OMC2650/ Dist: Apr 2000 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A seriously astringent and costal nose with a lovely freshness. Crisp and salty with barley and salt infused medicinal peat. With time there’s a subtle sweetness from the cask.

The palate is a little fuller but still very fresh. There is a little more oak and medicinal peat with a touch of earth and dried peat developing. Pleasantly salty middle, with maybe a little less astringency, but the finish is long with the dusty peat lingering and being joined by a touch of coffee and chocolate.

 


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Laphroaig 2007? (6 year old) 46%

Code: HEP0039/ Dist: ???? Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A sweet and violety nose with plenty of creamy oak and edgy but sweet peat smoke. Mellow, rounded and sweet with no shortage of oak character.

The palate is ashy and dusty to begin with. Lightly oiled with some dense oak. Very ashy on the middle. Good length with lingering tart citrus and guess what? Yes, ash!

 

Mackillop’s Choice Laphroaig 1990 (22 year old) 52.1%

Bourbon Cask 11731/ Dist: Oct 1990 Btl: Mar 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

The nose opens with a gentle ashy brininess and a huge chunk of shimmering vanilla oak. That oak is incredibly chunk and adds a delicious vanilla weight and it is pretty oaky by ‘phroaig standards but there is plenty of balancing exotic fruit – greengage, kiwi, green pineapple, green banana and a touch of barley. With time some smoked meat becomes evident along with a light medicinal, tcp note and a touch of iodine. Finally the oak pushes through and dominates the nose, but it’s just so evocative and sweet, even the bog myrtle and peat smells sweet! 

Soft, ash infused banana, macerated apricot and greengage open the proceedings. Quite herbal with some resolute oak vanillins. Like the nose it is quite sweet and full with the vanilla oils tempering the light ashy/ woody-peat, charcoal and wood spices. However finally the peat breaks free of the oak shackles on the finish, but the barley-vanilla sweetness hangs in there. Vanilla oils coat the mouth and some feather like wisps of smoke mingle with hints of chocolate and earthy peat on the finish. Wow! Breathtaking!

Milroy’s of Soho Laphroaig 1996 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon Cask 7289/ Dist Oct 1996 Btl: May 2009/ Tasted: May 2012

A gently phenolic nose of sweet cereal and bog myrtle-peat. Quite milky and soft with some late rubber and burnt coffee. A very fresh, textbook nose. 

The palate is quite milky and soft with a gentle bog myrtle-peat character. Quite complex with hints of rubber and fisherman’s friends along with plenty of sweet-ish cereal on the middle. Good intensity, very coastal with a long smoky finish. Unpretentious and classic!

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Laphroaig 29.67 16 year old 53.5%

Sherry Cask/ Tasted: Sept 2008

One sniff confirms it is a first fill sherry monster. Redolent of coffee, dried nuts. Faintly sulphured with a suggestion of Islay underneath but frankly it’s swamped. Water just brings out the sulphur!

The palate is pure sulphurous sherry. Overwhelmingly sweet with alcohol and wood tannins. Water makes it a bit waxy and oily, but definitely doesn’t save it. The finish is intense, smoky, sweet, sugary and tannic. Water like the nose makes it sulphury and messy!

Murray McDavid Laphroaig 1988 (13 years old) 46%

Bourbon Cask MM2108/ Dist July 1988 Btl: Dec 2001

A pure, almost elegant, or well as elegant as it can be at this age nose. Medicinal peat, soil and seaweed are all present and correct. The palate is pure and straight down the fine. Powerfully peated with a smoky, tarry sooty mouthful of uffettered Islay. Some pleasant cocoa/ mocha hints in the finish. Does the job perfectly.

Murray McDavid Laphroaig 1993 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Tempranillo/ Tasted: Spet 2006

A very, very odd nose. Winey red fruits plus restrained peat make odd bed fellows. There is some iodine, manure, salinity and background sweet fruit. The palate opens with plenty of peat smoke followed by the winey red fruits, iodine and subdued medicinal peat.

Very full flavoured with hints of bog myrtle and mint on the finish. I really can’t make my mind up about this! It’sd the oddest bottling I have ever tasted. It’s definitely Laphroaig Jim, but not as we know it!