Thanks to /u/xile_ for the sample.
So I made a big deal out of hitting 800 reviews recently. And by recently, I mean 100 reviews ago. I feel a little sheepish this being my 900th review. Didn’t mean to turn them around so quickly. Guess I had a rough couple of months. Especially after some great people in the Toronto Whisky Community helped make that one epic.
None the less, here we are. Can’t unring this bell. I happened to be at a whisky tasting and ended up with this one, completely not planned (no, seriously).
Makes sense though. I recently bought a version of this, two years the vintage, so it makes sense to of course drink a different one first. This is Laphroaig 25, specifically the 2011 version.
Laphroaig has had two different types of 25 year old releases: One is Cask strength (which is this one) and some earlier years were not. It’s generally been celebrated by the community that they decided to stop fucking with the dram… ahem… I mean, releasing it at a proper strength.
It is coloured. But we know that, based on the amazing things various whisky companies do with dyes, they don’t affect the taste. It isn’t chill filtered though, and that I am happy about. Typically the mouthfeel tastes much, much better that way.
This was matured, over a long long time (for humans, not for rocks), in a mix of formed bourbon barrels, former Oloroso sherry casks, and former Fino sherry casks. Which honestly sounds like a fun mix.
Seriously, do I have to sell this? A lot of people who read this love Laphroaig already. We may not all agree on the amount and types of releases they are doing, but… seriously, it’s 25 years old and has sherry maturation.
Let’s see how it tastes.
Price: Usually around $500-$600, but currently this version is sold out at the LCBO
Bottling Date: 2011
Colour: 5Y 9/8
Nose: Truffles, sea air, raisin, light caramel, cranberry, evergreen forest in the rain, barn
Wow. Very high end notes right off the bat. If you’ve never had an old peat, then I spit on you from my high horse. I mean…
Older drams that were peated end up losing that bombastic blast of peat and instead have these cocoa notes I love. Also there’s this amazing image of a forest while I drink this, and not just because I’m in a forest while drinking it, hunting for foxes on Arabians (I’m actually not).
Really nice nose.
Taste: Brine, cranberry sauce, caramel, melon, pine forest, strawberry, red licorice
This is definitely a Laphroaig. First thing is a blast of brine to wake you up from the enchanted forest. And then back to the forest. And no, I’m not Godzilla eating an entire pine forest.
Do I look like someone who eats that much greens?
It’s a mellow dram. Really subtle. And I’m not just saying that because it’s the last of 8 for the night. This is the only peated one. I think. Other than the last two. Of course. But this shines through that.
Finish: Creme brûlée, evergreen, salted oyster, pine syrup, salami, cocoa
Long finish. Big eggs notes. Love eggs. Wish I could digest them.
There’s more pine, but it’s well developed, not like young malts. Big bring notes. Lots of salt.
Conclusion: Overall a well put-together dram. It’s hard to score it. It’s complex. As complex as other 25 year old (whiskies) I’ve had? I don’t think so. It’s certainly nice to sip on. But I felt similar here to how I felt about a recent 26 year old Bowmore I’ve had (yes, I’m a snob): The angels did a number on this, and it’s popping up here.
I like this dram. I’m never going to say it’s a bad dram. Hell, I’m happy I own the 2009 and hope it’s half as good as this. It’s certainly tasty and worthy of the 900th review. Should it have been in the cask longer?
I gotta say maybe. Or maybe they pulled it before it became much weaker. Hard to tell. Still happy to have had it.
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