So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Legendary Laphroaig: 1970 Samaroli vs 1967 Samaroli

This particular pairing is a long time coming. Even now I don’t feel really prepared for it. It’s an understatement to say these are sought after bottles, so good luck ever seeing one for sale! Silvano Samaroli the founder of Samaroli the independent bottler used to handpick his casks, and going by the examples below, the man has good taste.

One caution though, if you are a peathead after peaters for the peat. These aren’t particularly peaty. Time, I think, has that effect, or maybe it is because the peating back then was ‘deeper’ rather than more ‘intense’ – remember at this stage Laphroaig was floor malting and peating all their own malt.

Laphroaig 1970 Duthies for Samaroli 54%

Laphroaig 70 Samaroli

Nose  Nose: Rather subtle at first sniff. And flavours are so integrated and complex, nothing immediately jumps up. But here and there it shows itself: : Lots of little earthy phenolic notes, a cupboard with a multitude of old waxes and greases, a sprinkling of sea salt here and there. Satchets of dried herbs, the kind you get in organic stores that’s a natural alternative to room freshener. Bit of old malt too.  The fruit is not huge again, but you get a flash here and there – preserved lemon and peach skins? Its hard to say, so subtle it all is. This is not a 5 minute drink, you will need to sit down and listen. The complexity though…

Taste  Palate: Delivers. Much bigger on the tongue. Mightily complex again – where to start. A deep warm earthy peat, salt tang, with cooked apples. Dry and cracked white wood. More of these mildly medicinal herbs like camphor, some old dried up salve. Just lots of phenolics. Old can of motor oil. Getting a citric rawness like you just sucked on a lemon slice. Overall dry and un-sweet, but bona fide phenolic., and so complex, its all over the place. One thing I get less of here is overt fruit.

Finish  Finish: Long is not enough a description. Damp salt encrusted driftwood and moustache pomade. Compost?


Trying to write tasting notes for a whisky as complex and subtle as this is pointless. Just one note – If you like Laphroaig for its open power, take it from me – please move along.




Laphroaig 1967 Duthies for Samaroli 57% ‘For Over 15 Years’

Laphroaig 67 Samaroli

Nose  Nose: ‘Matured in Sherry Wood’ the label says. An understatement. Let’s just say it’s big, it’s sherried, but it’s also really woody with all these obvious wood tannins. Though I know I am really sensitive to wood tannins. But how does it go with the spirit? Answer: Very well. A drop of tar, a drop of chinese medicine shop, ripening kelp on the beach. Bitter darkest cocoa. How nice. Muscovado sugar provided. Bit of coffee powder. Prunes, plums etc.. A bit farmy, a bit damp, A bit muddy, black olives and brine? Also a distinct but subtle medicinal something floating about. Ok. Just..  very complex.

Taste  Palate: Big, and fresher even. Yes this is it. All of the above melted into one essential presence that sits squarely on the tongue. I will add though: A beautiful salinity threads the whole thing, and lots of earthy ripe notes. Flashes of some sort of fruit here and there but I can’t tell.

Finish  Finish: Long, long… salty, bitter in a herby way, wood tannins still there.


Same score, though my gut is telling me the 67 is the better of the 2, but how do you say a Ferrari is better than a Lamborghini?

3 comments on “Legendary Laphroaig: 1970 Samaroli vs 1967 Samaroli

  1. Carissa Hickling
    December 20, 2015

    These both sound phenomenal! How lucky were you to try! 🙂

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2015 by in Laphroaig and tagged .
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