Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage Laphroaig 1998 Aged 16 Years Cask Hand Picked By The Whisky Exchange

Style: Sweet and Smoky

Nose:

Fairly powerful aroma on the nose, a bit hot. Maritime peat flowing in, hay stack sits at the deep then we are graced with delicate lemon tea notes and acid pop. Followed by subtle touches of fried onions and bacon. A whiff of gunpowder, while brine mixes with emerging earthy tones, ginger and nutmeg. Black liquorice at the back.

Palate:

Lip-smacking lemon honey drops fusing into the fruity core. Powerful smoke and peat. Hay stack laying the foundation, whereas red fruits and chocolate whipping up a most satisfying roundness… Molasses overtone, brown sugar introduced to give a syrupy sweetness which is then melded into the briny and mineral side of the Laphroaig. Red liquorice and liquorice roots smoked gently. Bonfire lingers till the end. Intoxicating.

Finish:

Tropical fruits taking in a small portion of cherry juice. Smoky water, more liquorice roots and chocolate mocha to finish.

Thoughts:

Very delicious. Definitely one of the best (modern) Laphroaig I have ever had. The sherry injects a perfect dose of sweetness and lifts up the spirit beautifully, while the smoky and peaty elements lacing charmingly around the sweet fruity core. Really, really addictive stuff. Honestly, I am a bit worried that I will finish the bottle before I write up the review, luckily I showed some self-restraint and manage to pen this down when the fill is going down to the final third. Laphroaig is generally good, but when it is as awesome as this, it is so hard to resist…

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[59.9% • Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • 585 Bottles • Cask Number: 700389 • 1998 Distilled • 2015 Bottled • Matured in a Refill Sherry Butt • **]

-Esmond