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My air conditioning unit broke down, and it's a bajillion degrees out there. What's a boy to do? Drink Laphroaig 18, of course.
The colour is a bright gold. On the nose the smoke is perfectly integrated with the sweet caramel. Wet campfire, smoked cheddar (I'm not kidding) and green apples. Fruity and also floral. Water adds some maltiness, with cereal notes. Elegant yet powerful.
On the palate it's even fruitier with poached pear, lemon and more green apples. Chili spices. Unassuming peat - less smoky than the nose. Ginger. Spicier with water - wow! Mouthwatering. Delicious.
The finish is mouth-watering with cereal, black liquorice and soot. That big, phenolic, smoke powerhouse that we know and love of Laphroaig has taken a slight - very slight - backseat to an elegant maltiness; the peat has been nicely smoothed down by the oak. Yet still unmistakably Laphroaig - and is perhaps my favourite expression from them.