Whiskyfun
Latest entry only, the rest is on the full website. Santé!
 

December 19, 2014


Whiskyfun

The Laphroaig Sessions,
Part Four and last

This isn’t Laphroaigfun.com, so this will be our last little Laphroaig session this year – but we’ll have many more next year, God willing. Let’s start this with a lighter strength…

Laphroaig 20 yo 1990/2010 (46%, Mo Or Collection, bourbon hogshead, cask #5941, 449 bottles)

Laphroaig 20 yo 1990/2010 (46%, Mo Or Collection, bourbon hogshead, cask #5941, 449 bottles) Four stars and a half In my wee experience, 1990 and 1991 were great ‘vintages’ at Laphroaig. Colour: straw. Nose: clean and yet complex, with delicate notes of ‘an oyster plate with lemon and seaweed’. Then even more iodine, antiseptic, brine, lime and a touch of white vinegar that works extremely well in this context. One drop of vanilla essence. Mouth: so good! Perfect strength, smoked fish, green apples, lemons, ashes, soot, brine… It’s a more complex style than that of late-1990s vintages such as the ones we tried yesterday and the days before. Love the coastal side. Fresh almonds. Finish: long, very clean, zesty, immaculate, perfect. Maybe a little sawdust in the aftertaste (loses one point, I’m afraid). Comments: oysters in a bottle. I love oysters. SGP:457 - 89 points.

Ten years forward…

Laphroaig 12 yo 2000/2013 (55.2%, Riegger's Selection, sherry finish, cask #4121, 174 bottles)

Laphroaig 12 yo 2000/2013 (55.2%, Riegger's Selection, sherry finish, cask #4121, 174 bottles) Four stars Granted, this is a finishing, but maybe is it a light one? Colour: pale gold. Nose: yes, the finishing is very discreet, hurray. So we have a clean one again, rather fresh, with only three or four raisins playing around quite some seawater, liquid smoke, coal and kilned malt. It’s not a hugely coastal Laphroaig (didn’t they lose a small part of their DNA?) With water: more marzipan. Mouth (neat): very creamy, thick, pleasantly liqueury, on grapefruit liqueur, black pepper, ashes and straight green peat. Very grassy smoke combining quite well with the sherry’s sweet roundness. With water: more fresh grapefruits. Sherbet! Finish: medium length. Even more grapefruit, this is fun. Comments: a fresh young Laphroaig that’s sweetly citrusy. Would be perfect in summer on a little ice. SGP:546 - 85 points.

Laphroaig 1996/2012 (52.5%, Exclusive Malts for whisky.com.tw, Taiwan, refill hogshead, cask #7315, 199 bottles)

Laphroaig 1996/2012 (52.5%, Exclusive Malts for whisky.com.tw, Taiwan, refill hogshead, cask #7315, 199 bottles) Four stars and a half Colour: white wine. Nose: fresh clean pearish mildly smoky and globally very fruity for Laphroaig. Very easy, which is obviously a good thing! With water: more earth, just a little manure, hay… So it’s a little farmier. Mouth (neat): perfect, very ‘focused’, all on smoked papayas, guavas, grapefruits, marzipan… Quite a lot of salt as well. This is super-clean. With water: all very good. Salty peat, almonds, a few tropical fruits remaining. Some earth as well, which is even more perfect. Finish: long, clean, smoky and earthy. More gentian eau-de-vie in the aftertaste. Comments: that was quick, because that was all very excellent. Not much else to say, bravo! SGP:557 - 88 points.

Laphroaig 20 yo 1990/2010 (56.1%, The Whisky Agency, bourbon, 273 bottles)

Laphroaig 20 yo 1990/2010 (56.1%, The Whisky Agency, bourbon, 273 bottles) Five stars It seems that I forgot to try this baby when it came out. Is that blue gentian? Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s rather ashier and smokier than others, and maybe a little closed when unreduced. Garden bonfire? Cigar ashes? Lemon juice? With water: a little mercurochrome and tincture of iodine, bandages... In short, the trademark notes of hospital. Mouth (neat): oh my, this is perfect. Sharp lemony peat, Schweppes-Lemon, a little angelica, aromatic herbs, some mint… It’s a rieslingian Laphroaig, a blade, no, an axe! With water: ashes and lemon juice. Zing. Finish: long, ashy, smoky, blade-y, perfect. Salty aftertaste, very appropriate. Comments: it’s the purity that’s striking. Whistle-clean. SGP:468 - 91 points.

Good, I think we’re ready for our last Laphroaig this year. And this won’t be just any Laphroaig, mind you…

Laphroaig 28 yo 1967 (50%, Scotch Malt Sales, Japan, +/-1995)

Laphroaig 28 yo 1967 (50%, Scotch Malt Sales, Japan, +/-1995) Five stars One of the highlights of the Lindores Shrimp Croquette Festival in Oostende this year. These old bottlings for Japan are very rare, and very prestigious, despite (or because of?) some very unlikely wording on their labels. Such as, on this very one, “This whisky is casked malt served from the barrel directly to this bottle for carring.” Mpffff… Colour: gold. Nose: oh, no! Didn’t the bottlers add a few litres of Yquem from the same vintage to this? You know, Yquem 1967… I’m not joking, I’ve never found such wonderful notes of apricot jam, heather honey, beeswax and old roses in Laphroaig, never. Beyond that, touches of old cigars, clay, camphor, all sorts of unknown flagons in a long-closed pharmacy, and maybe whiffs of fir cone smoke. It’s all pretty delicate, and yet firm, and yet delicate, and yet firm, and yet… With (a few drops of) water: more of the very same. Brilliant. Mouth (neat): makes you yodel. Big, almost massive, very piny, resinous, sappy, it’s some kind of very old herbal liqueur that used to cure any disease. Even malt mania. Some kind of honeydew. With water: ah yes, greases and oils, more old liqueurs, many herbs, liquorice, some piny smokiness, the best oysters, mint drops, some sap… It’s all very… symphonic? Oh and would you mind calling the anti-maltoporn brigade before it’s really too late? Finish: it’s where it loses one or three points (not only because this is the end), it’s losing a bit of focus, perhaps, but it’s still quite extraordinary. Comments: pure magic, the work of time, both in wood and in glass. Philosophical whisky. SGP:575 - 95 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Laphroaig I've tasted so far

 

 

    Logo  
Block Today: JAZZ. Performer: the World Saxophone Quartet. Track: My First Winter. Please buy their music...
 

 

Copyright Serge Valentin, Nick Morgan and all the Malt Maniacs