Dram Review: Laphroaig Càirdeas Master Edition (2010 Edition)

[57.3%・11 Years Old・Bottled in 2010 ・ Official Bottling・Limited Release of 5,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Peat, mud, sultana and soft pears, medicinal with mandarins and other dried fruits.

Palate & Finish:

Crisp barley sweetness with bubble gum and a burst of honey before a mid-palate of oily petrol and dried fruits takes over.

In the finish, seaweed, dried fruits and some nutmeg spices.

Thoughts:

A much more balanced Càirdeas that is entirely modern but gives a much sweeter than expected hit.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Laphroaig Càirdeas (2008 Edition)

[55.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2008 ・ Official Bottling・Limited Release of 3,600 Bottles]

Nose:

Seaweed and rock salt rubbed bacon under a heavy smoke with wee notes of limes and twigs.

Palate & Finish:

Jammy but fiery, peat, smoke and spices initially blanketing over the subtler notes of vanilla, oak and tropical fruits before a gradual return to a sweeter touch.

An earthy finish with dried Chinese herbs, salt flakes and chocolate dust, hints of sweetness and saltiness to go with the bitter tail.

Thoughts:

Pretty brutal but in a watching a front rower making a line break kind of way.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Laphroaig Unblended 15 Years Old

[43.0%・15 Years Old・Bottles Circa 1985 ・Official Bottling Imported by Larios Malaga・General Release]

Nose:

Soft white fruits with a fine brush of peat and a subtle seasoning of sea salt. Endearingly rewarding as the softness of white peaches and pineapples harmoniously vibes with the warming sensations of beachside seaweed and some diesel smoke.

Palate & Finish:

The gentle tarry note synchronises elegantly with the fruits, wonderfully constructed with honey and caramel drizzling on apples and pears as the peat slowly sips out.

Dried but rewarding, a long tail of summery tropical fruits lingering on with tarry peat.

Thoughts:

Brilliantly constructed, I could simply use a few profanities in lieu of saying that the era-specific terroir, that extra years of maturation and the body at that strength have all come together for this dram.

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Clydesdale Laphroaig (Cask No. 5967)

[53.5%・18 Years Old・Distilled in 1979・Bottled in 1997・Clydesdale Bottling・Cask No. 5967・Single Cask Release of 222 Bottles]

Nose:

The heavy cowshed presence is surprising, hints of coal smoke, apple wood incense lingering above a wholesome, oily base of overripe pears, honey and malt.  Traces of iodine, white pepper and aged ginger cubes vaguely surface from the background.

Palate & Finish:

Certainly fares more like a period Laphroaig on the palate, a stunning mic of vibrantly juicy dates and earthy tar and peat.  Greek style sweet almond shortbread cookies and marzipan pears, with this striking sake elegance.

Grilled bell peppers bring about a subtler tail, dried fruits dipped in honey with some burnt toffee coated walnuts and chocolate drizzled coconut chips.

Thoughts:

Stunning aromas followed by an exquisite delivery.

Quite unlike the typical vintage Laphroaig expressions from the late 1970s, early 1980s in that it fares more like a Brora of all things.

Which is to say that I adore it thoroughly.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Laphroaig 1991 Vintage 23 Years Old

[52.6%・23 Years Old・Distilled in 1991・Bottled in 2014・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 5,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Yup, Christmas fruitcake and chimney ash, a bruteness from the peat, iodine spilling and tar burning, dark berries laced with cigarette smoke and rosemary seasoned lamb roasting in the background.

Palate & Finish:

Gooey mix of toffee, molasses and ripe figs, the tarry and minty notes make the delivery more interesting before the thickness sets in, much of the expected blackcurrants and prunes followed by a rush of pepper, rosemary and Sichuan spices!

Burnt sugar, crushed pepper and sticky toffee, a substantial finish.

Thoughts:

What more could one ask for out of an entertaining Sherried Laphroaig?

Just a gutsy dram that satisfies on many levels, strong Sherry meets solid peat and the interaction is well managed, spectacularly executed.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Thank you Arishima San for sharing this whisky with us, it’s much appreciated.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Laphroaig Aged 25 Years 2013 Cask Strength Edition

[45.1% • 25 Years Old • Bottled in 2013 • Official Bottling • Limited Edition]

Nose:

Fresh dill and tea smoked trout on the nose. Bacon and banana jam. Let it breathe and it develops a woody peat with a hint of sea salt and lard, and a pinch of cumin, pepper and tea leaves. A subtle floral note, a lone flower on a rocky beach, perhaps.

Palate & Finish:

It’s sweet on the palate, lemon preserve and light honey. Apricots and red apples along with a hint of dark chocolate. A wet peat developing with some lively spices on the mid-palate, rather peculiar for a dram at this age.

A sweet finish of light flowing honey with an underlying peat that doesn’t seek for attention and certainly doesn’t try to engulf.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “The Lingering Youthfulness”.

The Laphroaig 25 is like an elegant lady reminiscing about her feisty and alluring past.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas