I “studied” hard in preparation of my first bottle of Laimrig. This was a batch I picked up in Calgary a few years ago. I was quite put off by the 12, 15, 18 year old standard bottlings so I was extremely surprised when I liked it so much I picked up a bottle of a different batch at the LCBO the next spring, and that one is still waiting to be opened.
This year’s Laimrig is different. Whereas the other 2 batches I bought had numbered bottles indicating a limited run (“limited” to 18000 bottles the last time it was available here), what the LCBO calls batch IV (nothing listed on the bottles) has no indication of total bottles produced.
I bought and opened this bottle today. It is reviewed in my usual manner. I then poured a small portion of what remains from the first batch I tried, in order to compare batches.
Neat - dry peat, not vegetal, sherry, mild hint of prunes. Some caramel and vanilla 21/25
With water - sweetens the nose, some brighter sherry notes, green table grape. With time peat fades into background and integrates nicely with the sherry. (22/25)
Neat – strong , bitter peat, sherry bass notes. Very dry, sour note. A bit harsh. 20/25
With water – green grapes on arrival, peat becomes sweeter, less blunt, mouthfeel thins (lighter, more delicate flavour), less caramel. With time in the glass this really becomes smooth. (23/25)
Ash, astringent, medium length, a little longer after addition of water. 21/25
Balance - the flavours seem to work well together. Much better with water. 22/25
Score: Neat – 84/100 With water- 88/100
54.4% batch – decanted some time ago and opened March 2013, probably not at its peak.
neat - fruity, flint, complex layers of sherry with peat well-integrated in the background. With water there are definite hints of (a good) A’Bunadh.
Neat – chocolate, sweet/sour, a little spirity which decreases with time, sherry. water adds a green grape note to the palate, and the chocolate fades a little and becomes darker.
Rich, astringent finish.
At its peak this would have easily been a 90-92 point whisky.
This has increased in price by 20% at the LCBO since the last batch was sold 3 years ago.
It is hard to compare the two batches but on initial impression it is as if the newer batch is a little younger, maybe using slightly less active casks. Maybe a larger batch with less of the nuance a smaller run confers.
This Laimrig did not grab me and “wow” me right from the outset like the Tempest V I tried in December did. However, there is a good chance this whisky will evolve now that the bottle is open, and I will definitely have to come back to it.