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This Laphroaig is very pale, bottled by the Whisky Agency in their 'Liquid Library' range. It was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2011 at the age of 12. The pale color leaves no doubt: this was an ex-bourbon hogshead.
The nose is a friendly contest between sweet, salt and diesel. Quite smoky, in fact. I would describe the sweetness as being nuts, vanilla and a touch of citrus. The salt reminds me of sea breeze and fresh oysters. The diesel is self explanatory, I guess. Charcoal and peat join the party. A flamethrower (with that I mean the slice of bacon on a stick that you put on the barbecue and kids love so much, not the horrible military weapon). All very Laphroaig. The longer you leave it, the sweeter it becomes. Adding a drop of water will enhance that.
After the initial burst of alcohol, the taste buds are overwhelmed by the smokiness, black pepper and quite a bit of sea salt, before allowing the licquorice to shine through.
The finish is sweet, peaty and lingering.
This is a very nice Laphroaig, with an amazing nose.