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

Laphroaig 15 yo 1997 Director’s Cut vs Laphroaig 25 yo 1986 Old & Rare Douglas laing vs Laphroaig 25 yo 1990/2015 ‘The Oceans’ for Whisk-e Japan #5940

Laphroaig head to head, plus a special one on the fly:

Laphroaig DL

Some older Laphroaigs available today, which is always fun as heavy peaters at good age trade monstrous peat for elegance and subtlety, which is very much my thing.

Laphroaig 15 yo 1997 Director’s Cut Douglas Laing 53.4%

Nose Nose: A very naked Laphroaig, and the youngest of the lot at 15. Peated malt bins. Salt crusted wellington boots. Diesel exhaust and clean sea air. Just a tiny bit of camphor. Not particularly medicinal or powerful, not particularly fat or sharp either. Hmmm.. After a while, wet ropes and mud. Very much as expected but not particularly complex.

Taste Palate: Shows some young malty characteristics. Barley sweetness, malting floors and smoke. Then more maritime with salt and seabreeze. A bit of diesel here. Simple and straightfoward. Also boring. We’ve all been here before. Still very decent stuff.

Finish Finish: Medium, peat and ash.

Score70

Fair whisky, didn’t seem to really sit well in the cask though.

 

Laphroaig 25 yo 1986 Old & Rare Douglas Laing 53.1%

Nose Nose: Smoked rosewater and echoes of fruitiness. Throw in a freshly opened packet of cigarettes. Quite very complex and changing. This one starts with a dampness in it – old wet wood, leather shoes in the rain. Wet leaves. Not much peat or smoke either, but becomes earthier and bandages does creep into the nose. Not sure anyone can guess this is Laphroaig blind.

Taste Palate: Where to start… Definitely a drop of fruit juice here, matched by something like strong vegetable juice plus the more medicinal sort of herbs, nutmeg, camphor. More wet wood and sweet tobacco smoke. Yes, the Indonesians have this sweet clove tobacco. And a mass of little phenolic notes. Scratched bakelite? Worchestshire sauce? Slightly sweet, old medical cabinets. Not powerful but quite quite complex. What a whisky.

Finish Finish: Long dry wood, leather, loads of phenolics. Always this hint of fruit that never materializes. Haunted by the ghosts of yesteryear.

Score95

Excellent excellent whisky. See, I am convinced the fresh bourbon wood policy of the 90s has done much more harm than good. With a bit of patience and the right wood (read: refill) this excellent distillate is capable of gold. I believe the first fill Bourbon policy, while making decent whisky sooner, sacrifices the gold tomorrow for second class today. Shame.

 

And a Japanese special: Laphroaig 25 yo 1990/2015 ‘The Oceans’ for Whisk-e Japan #5940 53.3% – picture credit of Instagram handle ‘revolbar’

This one is part of a range done by Whisk-e, a Japanese importer and distributor. I am aware of a Bunnahabhain, Glen Grant, a Laphroaig 18 in the same range.

As this was done on the fly – ie drunk at the counter of one of the best whisky bars in Sapporo, no detailed notes here but my impressions are of a clean and elegant Laphroaig. Gone is the heavy peat but greater compensation arrives in the form of extraordinary balance and succulence. Gentle fruit, brine, a quiet sea, smoked meats and the comforting glow of smoking embers on your hearth. Fantastic integration and the softness swallows you. These mid 20 Laphroaigs are truly beautiful.

Score95

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This entry was posted on August 11, 2016 by in Laphroaig and tagged .
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