Thanks to /u/Throzen for the sample, poured as part of our year end tasting.
We’re nearing the end of the tasting. For myself, at least. I’m pushing my ability to review at this point, have drunk enough water to clear out my system three times over, thought of baseball and spiders, and decided this is the last one.
But what a last one to end it with: Laphroaig 25 2015 is the third original bottling (OB) 25 year, cask strength Laphroaig 25 I’ve been very lucky to have tried. These are a mix of bourbon and sherry casks that are released at a higher strength that come in a straw laden box. Exciting, right? Yet another thing to gather dust on your shelf!
At least this one is a nice box that you can keep… I don’t know, letters from your loved one for the eventual climate wars? Yeah, let’s say that.
So we have an elaborate case, but how is the inside bit? That sloshy bit that you sometimes realize is, in fact, potable, and start wondering about. It’s like an expensive broken lava lamp, and we all know we’d drink it, so let’s drink the one that’s able to be drunk, shall we?
Cask types: Bourbon & Oloroso Sherry Barrels
Colour: 7.5Y 9/8
Nose: Hospital, lemongrass, sea air, brown sugar, rubber
Lots of iodine notes, lots of herbal/grassy notes, and molasses. So it’s a mix of developed peat notes and then less developed, younger Laphroaig notes.
Which is good. It’s not light, that’s for certain. Rich, herbal, lots of iodine (but not as much as the next Scotch), and a good amount of rubber.
Taste: Rubber, salt pork, beef fat, dandelion, butter
More rubber, some meat, and some more vegetal/herbal notes. It tastes really fatty. Which after lowering the amount of red meat I eat on a regular basis, I’m all for.
You could probably dip fresh bread in it the same way and be happy, but that’s just a chemical that tastes like fat, not actually fat, so don’t do that.
Sadly the strong, powerful nose gives us some regular animal fat notes, and not the super fat notes I was hoping for.
Finish: Mussels, burnt lemon, rubber, lime zest, lilacs, dry grass
Sea, some acidity, more rubber, and some floral/herbal aspects. I feel it’s getting light now. It’s hard to pick out the lighter elements.
That said, I’m not the only Lowland fan sitting at the table during this. There’s a much larger Lowland fan, who you may ask “Why doesn’t he eat the rest of the smaller whisky drinkers”, and we’ll discuss that another time. He is more of a fan of this one than I am, as the light flavours are fun for him.
Conclusion: It’s fatty, salty, floral, and the peat has developed nicely. But I feel like it’s a tad light, and I kept looking for something similar to what I had with the 2008 edition. It’s still a very, very good whisky. I liked the Ledaig more because it was brash from start to finish and tasted of chocolate pudding, which I crave now and will eventually make from scratch.
You come into an older whisky looking for the notes it’s known for but with more complexity and depth. That’s what you get in this. I feel they were using some lower abv. casks for this batch to try and obtain floral elements. While I appreciate that, I think a different year would be best for anyone not looking for flowers.
Scotch review #1540, Islay review #398, Whisky Network review #2260