Laphroaig 18 Years Old ~48% (Beam/Suntory)

48% ABV, £86.71 for 70cl

Score: 88/100

Laphroaig18yo

What they say:

Replacing the much-loved 15 year old, our new 18 year old is a well balanced, full bodied whisky offering a long, sweet and intense finish. A multitude of flavours on the nose, smoked ham, spice, fruitcake, wood, ginger and a touch of butter. Complex palate with layers of smoke, nut and wood.

This 18 Year Old expression of Laphroaig is made in limited quantities each year and savoured by a fortunate few. A soft, sweet and spicy Islay peat smoke greets you when you first open the bottle. The immediate taste is an oak sweetness, from 18 years in the barrel. A faint hint of the sea can be detected, testimony to its time maturing on the remote island of Islay.

It is bottled at 48% ABV and is non-chill filtered for a depth of taste and texture.

TASTING NOTES

COLOUR : Bright Gold

NOSE: At bottling strength, a soft toffee sweet but faintly spicy flavour counterbalances the trace of delicate phenols and fruit. An all encompassing smoothness brings these together. A touch of water allows the seaweed and salt to come through but not enough to overpower the vanilla and honey sweetness with just a trace of new mown hay and peat at the finish.

BODY: An intense depth that is exceptionally balanced and warming.

PALATE: An instant warming tang of smoke fades into smooth floral scents, which blends seamlessly into an oaky nuttiness and leaves a lasting sweetness on the taste. With a touch of water, the peaty warmth fills the mouth but does not overshadow the sweet chocolate smoothness. This is balanced by the rich toffee taste and slowly fades into a delicate hint of heather and peat smoke.

FINISH: Full bodied, long with a luxurious oily smoothness.

P1060862

What I say:

Sampled during our recent visit to Laphroaig Distillery (April 2014), this is one of their standard expressions made in limited batches each year.

Colour:

Light yellow, full refractive gold

Nose:

Sweet honey & peanut satay, peat, slightly hoppy, fruity apples, pears (pear drops), apricot, sandalwood

Taste:

Sweet sandalwood, hazelnut &  gingerbread, vanilla rice pudding with a little apple and pear puree, seaweed and clean and clinical iodine

Finish:

Long sweet honeyed vanilla and burnt sandalwood incense sticks

Overall:

A beautiful whisky from Laphroaig that really tames that fiery powerful peaty character into something sublime. A really delicious dram that reveals sweet woody bourbon character married perfectly with gentle peat and clean iodine (none of that dirty creosote of the 10 year old in here thank you madam!). I could drink this all day – what better way to relax than sitting in the Laphroaig snug drinking some of their finest.