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Laphroaig Highgrove 12 yo 1999/2013 #5162 vs Laphroaig 10 yo Cask Strength Green Stripe

Unless you don’t routinely tune in to whisky news, updates, fan clubs, cults etc, you can’t have missed Beam’s very clever marketing drive recently where they got people who have never drink Laphroaig before to do so on camera and say all sorts of nasty-nice things about it. I thought this was a very clever move, because it plays on the fact that it is exactly what about Laphroaig that is hated by some that is loved by others.

Laphroaig Highgrove 12 yo 1999/2013 #5162 46%

Highgrove House is the official residence of Prince Charles and Duchess Camila, and the Heir’s coat of arms has been on the label of every official Laphroaig since 1994. This range of Laphroaigs while bearing the official livery, is bottled for HRH, though a few get out here and there. I hear you can buy it in the gift shop too.

laph5162

Nose Nose: Well it got me. I was expecting something like the 10 with a bit more strength (hence the H2H below). Well. No. It is a very civilized Laphroaig, and at 12! Yes coastal, peat, band aid (XS size). But more of burning custard than bonfire, more quayside fish pie in summer than a gale in winter, more salted lemon rind than peat parade. Immensely enjoyable in it’s easy grace

Taste Palate: Yes same charming softness. A bigger fresh sea water, smoked herring and white ash on some grapefruit or something else gently citrusy. More breakfast than dark powers of the infernal night. Very nice, a different take on late 90s Laphroaig?

Finish Finish: Long salt water, soft smoke, light ash, smoking room carpet post dry cleaning.

Score92

 

 

Laphroaig 10 yo Cask Strength Green Stripe 57.3% ~late 90s/early 2000

Old version of the current 10 yo Cask Strength.

laph10csgs

Nose Nose: Comparatively massive, and there’s some family resemblance… But this one has much more dampness and other earthy notes of wet clay-ey soil – quite ‘boggy’ then. Ancient rotting wood, peat oil – which must be as black as sin, knotted roots and crumbling charcoal, liquefied tar. Deeply resinous and phenolic. While not as expansively wide, this one has an intense depth and massy pheonic complexity. Now almost like an afterthought you notice the salt and smoke.. with maybe some cooking oil and polish notes.

Taste Palate: It’s not an illusion, much more earth-ily phenolic  than salty or smoky. Tar and rubber and kerosene. The wettest dankest oak. And only a while later does the maritime quality of this fantastic Laphroaig become evident. Think today’s Laphroaig’s are phenolic? Try this. What a tight mass of flavours.

Finish Finish: Long and we’re in the same camp but it’s really quite incredibly complex, and remember this is a 10 yo.

Score95

I didn’t fancy the recent ‘Batch’ releases of the 10 yo cask strength all that much, but this one.. eye opening.

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This entry was posted on January 11, 2017 by in Laphroaig and tagged .
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