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This expression was replaced with the 18yo in 2009. It seems to have been the Prince of Wales' favourite dram for many years, so I was curious what this might taste like.
The nose is classic Laphroaig with peat smoke, brine, rubber and sweet undertones such as mint and vanilla. All in all, this is much more restrained than the 10yo.
The palate is quite smoky and ashy but sweet and smooth all the same, the harsh edges of the 10yo having been considerably softened. I also detected apples and pears.
The finish is satisfyingly long, dry and warming.
I was pleasantly surprised by this Laphroaig. The additional five years of maturation have given it extra complexity and a smoothness that is not present in the 10yo. This is an excellent single malt - no wonder the Prince was a fan!