Thanks to /u/xile_ for sharing a sample of this whisky.
First IB of the Laphroaig of my current series, “To Quaff a Laphroaig”. We all had Laphroaigs, we all had time, we opened them up, and then drank them. Not at once though, because that would be silly.
Laphroaig 18 1989 Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask comes to me because I, silly enough, said that last year I had too many Laing offerings. Thus we had to have two.
So perhaps I should change my tune: I feel that, now with the changes to the Old Malt Cask offerings, I’ve had enough. However this one came out a decade ago, so it’s completely fine.
Oh, do I have something on my face? How about my other face?
The first of the OMC is a Laphroaig that’s 18 years old and aged only in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. Let’s see how it does, shall we?
Price: No longer available
Distilled: November 1989
Bottled: Feb 2008
Cask Number: 4085
No of Bottles: 268
Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead
Colour: 10Y 9/8
Nose: Pear, teak, brine, nectarine, caramel
Interesting wood notes on the nose are the first major part to it. Eventually you go looking for more and more, and it again doesn’t really give too much out. Water brings out more caramel and brine.
So far, not living up to the OB for me.
Taste: Smoke, lime zest, peach, caramel, cardamon, mushroom
Nice taste on this one. If we consider that this cask was sold because it didn’t fit in to anything Laphroaig was doing, then the spice, mushroom, and lack of developed smoke is the main culprit.
If anything, this has taken on more and more of the cask then the whisky itself.
Finish: Anise, coconut, milk chocolate, cereal, pear
Finish is spice, dry creaminess, and a chocolate that we’ve been waiting for. Or at least I’ve been waiting for it.
The cereal note is interesting, and a lot stronger than other Laphroaigs.
Conclusion: If someone didn’t like Laphroaig, this is their Laphroaig. And that’s not me bashing it, it’s me stating that this is odd enough to be enjoyed as something different.
It’s like they tried to make a less peated version and actually gave it a chance to grow. The only part that screams “older peated dram” is the finish, and by that time you’ve re-calibrated your brain.
An interesting, unique dram. Not really for me so much, but nice.
Scotch review #817, Islay review #197, Whisky Network review #1328