Laphroaig is my favorite Scotch distillery. I’ve at least tasted most of their regular line-up (the Triple Wood was one of my favorites up to this point and my review of it can be found here). But, since Scotch is so expensive in the States (and always going up in price) I don’t keep a lot of it stocked in my bar.
I love the level of peat in Laphroaig’s. However, as I’ve begun to try more and more whiskey my tastebuds have evolved. I’ve begun to enjoy the drams from the more delicate side of the Scotch aisle.
I’d heard the Laphoraig 18 was the mellow giant sibling of the Laphroaig 10. So, when I connected with a fellow blogger, Josh, over at A Dram Good Drink, and conducted a sample exchange, I was sure to get a few samples of this fine tipple. Without further adieu I present to you my findings.
Distiller: D. Johnston & Co., Laphroaig Distillery
Location: Port Ellen, Isle of Islay
Age: 18 Years Old
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Very light. White grapes with the ever so slightest hint of amber floating around the edges.
This one is very delicate. For those out there with an under-performing snifter it will be hard to pick up much from this one. I got peat, citrus fruits (lemon), pears, unripe apples, smoked meats (reminded me of jerky or salami), and a chlorinated pool smell (I believe this to be the Novocaine note that most find). Just the slightest bit of vanilla and caramel entered as it opened up. It has pretty spectacular balance. It’s an inviting nose.
Everything from the nose is also present on the palate. In addition I get smoke, char, and wood. It’s like orchard fruits left to smolder over a snuffed-out campfire. Everything is turned up ever so slightly. All the notes are in near perfect balance.
A long, pleasant fade out of smoke, peat, char, and wood blanketed with just the slightest bit of vanilla keeping it from being too dry.
I was provided a sample of this product from a fellow blogger so I struggle to judge value based on this experience. However, I will do my best. At anywhere from $75-150 for a 750ml bottle this product comes in all over the board. I would be hard-pressed to pay $150 for this fine dram. But, I would be more than happy to shell out $75-90 for a bottle.
This is a quite seductive (if this is even possible) whisky. The brashness of the younger Laphroaig’s has been mellowed out by the sweet and savory nature of fruits and sweets which come with age. While I like heavily-peated, strong whiskies they are rarely regular sippers for me. I could find myself sipping on this one all Fall/Winter long. I will pick up a bottle the next time I can find it in my price range and if you can find it for below $100 I recommend you do the same. Cheers!
93.5/100 (A Solid Tipple)
*Disclosure: This sample was sent to me by Josh over at A Dram Good Drink (check out his review of this tipple here). All tasting notes are 100% my own. Thank you for the sample, Josh!