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Laphroaig 15 Year Old / 200th Anniversary

Subdued and subtle

5 983

@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

28th Dec 2018

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is the 15-year old bottling that Laphroaig released in 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the distillery.

The nose starts with bonfire smoke and smoked ham, followed by notes of lemons, seaweed and a hint of chocolate. Later on there is some vanilla, too. This certainly is sweeter and less peaty than I expected.

The palate is medium-bodied and quite “rounded” (I trust you know what I mean). It kicks off with a small dose of wood spice, followed by plenty of grapefruit flavours. There are less lemon flavours than on the nose; instead, there is more smoke and some medicinal notes, albeit somewhat subdued.

The finish is of medium length and big on grapefruit and lemon flavours, while the smoke has now turned into soot.

This is well balanced and comes with a wide range of different flavours, but I would not call it a stunner - a comment that might actually say more about myself than the whisky. I prefer my Laphroaigs to be big, heavily peaty and smoky, and this bottling is more for the subtle connoisseur. In addition I have always been very fond of the former 15-year old bottling and do not feel that this version is an adequate replacement.

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9 comments

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Thanks for the review. I sampled the “old” 15 year at a friend’s place and I loved it. It’s probably my second favourite Laphroaig, after the 10 Year Cask Strength. Your notes to this one do sound pretty good though...

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Pierre_W @OdysseusUnbound. The old 15 was, for me, the sweet spot in the OB lineup. Am I right in recalling that it was bottled at 48%? I did have a bottle of the anniversary edition and quite liked it. I thought it might become part of the core lineup. But it appears the 15 and the venerable 18 are gone forever. Too bad.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Hi @OdysseusUnbound and @BlueNote, thanks for your comments. I reviewed the ‘old’ Laophroaig 15yo in June 2012 (it was bottled at 43% ABV) and just reread my notes. Looks like the former version had the depth and the classic Laphroaig characteristics that the new bottling is somewhat lacking. I wish I could get another bottle now and redo the tasting session.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

And by the way, @OdysseusUnbound, good taste! wink The 10yo cask strength is my favourite Laphroaig expression too!

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, thank you for your review. I respect your taste greatly, and I am happy to have a review from you on a Laphroaig which I have not yet tasted. Like you, I like my Laphroaigs big and bold. The Laphroaig 10 yo Cask Strength does the trick very well. Thanks again.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@Pierre_W nice review, I picked up on the grapefruit notes too.

I enjoyed this bottle quite a bit, at times it's subtleties was didn't do it for me but the last few drams were wonderful. In the end though I trade my second bottle for 3 x Benromach 10 as it was too good a trade to pass up.

4 months ago 0

Taco commented

Really? An 83??? I love Laphroaig 10 and 10CS, but this was just a wonderful variation that I wish I could find. I always had a hard time deciding whether to buy this or the 2015 Cairdeas (which was also wonderful), and usually picked up both. I keep hoping I run across a dusty of either in a store, but to no avail. To me it (and that Cairdeas) were both low 90's.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Taco Agree totally on the 2015 Cairdeas. I’ve got one tucked away in the bunker along with my last Laphroaig 18 green tube.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

Taco commented

I've got a red stripe CS from 2005 I haven't opened yet. Really need to pop that one.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

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