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Laphroaig 18 year (1998) Single Cask, Ex-Sherry Butt

A more refined Laphroaig

4 495

@bwmccoyReview by @bwmccoy

25th Jan 2018

1

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    95

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This hand-filled bottle was drawn directly from the cask at the distillery on April 12th, 2016. Distilled in 1998. Ex-Sherry Butt cask # 700039. Bottle # 212.

While this is an exquisite dram, it is not a sherry bomb. It is a more subtle, refined example of a sherry cask, southern shore Islay whisky. Also, I did not detect the typical medicinal, iodine characteristics that you would expect from a Laphroaig.

Based on the color and the lack of it being a sherry bomb, I am assuming that this is at least a second-fill cask.

Color: Amber.

Nose: The picture I get nosing this whisky is the first whiff of smoke that you smell when walking into a oak paneled room with a roaring fire in the fireplace. Then after sitting down, you smell the leather of the high back chair and the leather bound books in the oak bookshelves along one of the walls. Followed, by the sweet aroma of the sherry wine in the glass on the table next to the chair.

Palate: The sweet sherry influence is front and center followed by the oak making its presence known mid-palate, ending with damp ash.

Finish: The sweetness lingers momentarily before leaving smoky ash on your tongue for a long time.

This whisky is very well balanced in all aspects.

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4 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@bwmccoy, thanks for your lovely review.

What I want most to know: 1) what did the bottle cost?, 2) have you found that you have consistently liked the distillery-only bottles which you have purchased from this and all other distilleries?, 3) do you consider having the opportunity to buy distillery-only bottles to be one of the biggest opportunities in touring distilleries?

3 years ago 0

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy commented

@Victor - Thank you! Here are the answers to your questions.

  1. The cost of the bottle was included in the price of the tour. It was 60 pounds for the two-hour tour which included drawing samples from three casks (2007 Quarter Cask, 2004 ex-Maker's Mark bourbon barrel and the 1998 Sherry butt) at the end of the tour in the warehouse. You were then able to fill a 250ml bottle from your favorite of the three casks. In addition to the 3 cask samples, there were additional samples of regular Laphroaig expressions (Select, Lore and the 15 year old) once we got back to the visitor center.

  2. Of the distillery only bottles that I have purchased, yes, I have really liked them. Some were absolutely stunning. Having said that, there were distillery only bottles that I have sampled and did not purchase because I did not like them or didn't think they were worth the money. So the answer to your question is that it depends on the bottle. As you know, I am a huge fan of single cask bottles due to their uniqueness. I am drawn to distillery only bottles for much the same reason, but in the end, it all comes down to the quality of the whisky in the bottle.

  3. I been fortunate enough to visit over 40 whisk(e)y distilleries in 4 countries (Scotland, Ireland, Canada and here in the states) in the past 10+ years that I have been drinking whisky. After a while, the tours tend to be similar, so unless there is a unique experience available, like this one at Laphroaig, I will most often not tour and only sample the whisky. In most cases, I have previously sampled most of the core ranges of the distilleries that I am visiting, so yes, I tend to focus on expressions that I haven't had before, especially the distillery only bottles to see if they are something that I want to purchase.

3 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@bwmccoy, thank you very kindly for your prompt reply, comprehensive response, and excellent detail!

3 years ago 0

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy commented

@Victor - You're welcome! I hope the info was helpful.

3 years ago 1Who liked this?

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