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Laphroaig 18 Year Old

Older, Bolder and Flirtatious

0 289

@spiritsafeReview by @spiritsafe

29th May 2011

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    24
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Colour

In the sunlight, the 18 is reminiscent of liquid topaz – a brilliant yellow-gold; on the glass, it is the colour of honeycomb and captured sunlight.

Body

Medium body (though I found this to be the slightest bit lighter than the 15) with the legs to prove it!

Nose

There is a sweet aroma – like honeysuckle – the start. A lot of the sea in this one as well; I have a rush of seaweed, brine and fish oil, followed by wet clothes after a drenching rain. The smoke is there – a campfire smouldering from the night before.

Palette

This is a robust dram. The sea doesn’t end with the nose in this one, and a dry iodine and saltiness are countered by a pleasing sweetness that suggests toasted grains and simple syrup. The peat and smoke is there throughout, but reveals itself most prominently at the middle and on the finish.

Finish

The additional 5% alcohol in the 18 Year Old (as compared to its predecessor, the 15 Year Old) is noticeable, although this is not necessarily a bad thing. The peat is prevalent, and is most akin to campfire ash or charcoal soot – perhaps not too appealing when reading about it, but delicious when imbibing. Additionally, and moreso than the 15 Year Old, the 18 lasts in the mouth – it has been a good 5 minutes, and the flavours continue to play on my palette, with the peat giving way to a pleasant sweetness reminiscent of apples and toffee.

Conclusion

Truth be told, I am a dirty old man who likes my 15 Year Old and would have been very happy if Laphroaig had left well enough alone. That being said, having completed a side-by-side tasting, I must begrudgingly admit that the 18 Year old has its merits and is a thoroughly enjoyable dram. Is it a worthy addition to Laphroaig? Yes, definitely; Is it a worthwhile replacement for the 15? I cannot agree...the 15 remains a favourite, and will likely remain so until my last pour – but it is nice to know that there is a place on my shelf for her older, bolder, and more flirtatious sister.

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2 comments

UserRemoved commented

@Spiritsafe, Nice review! I've yet to try the Laphroaig 18. I will add it to my shopping list.

Also, how is it compared to the 10YR Cask Strength?

7 years ago 0

@spiritsafe
spiritsafe commented

Thanks whiskyshiba. Please share your own thoughts when you do.

As for the 10 Year Old Cask Strength...well, I am going from memory, but as I recall it is more energetic, and has more zest and and considerably more heat. The 'medicinal' qualities are more pronounced, as is the peat (which I recall being quite impressive). But really, what I remember most was the power...compared with the 10, the 18 is moderation itself. I think that is one of the benefits of the 18; you can enjoy much of the vibrancy of the 10 Cask Strength with the tempered exuberance and smoothness that comes with a bit of age.

7 years ago 0

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