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Laphroaig 25 yo Cask Strength Bottled 2013

Well-Aged and Elegant: When 45% Is Plenty Of ABV

7 592

@VictorReview by @Victor

17th Mar 2017

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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
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed bottle has been open for 12 days and is 75% full

Colour: pale yellow, but not extremely light

Nose: crisp, slightly bitter peat is the first to greet, followed by soft mellow sweetness on a bed of mouth-watering brine. Smoke is light to moderate, and perfectly matches the refined laid-back elegance of the nose of this particular bottling. The balance of all elements is excellent. What you smell here is well-aged near-perfection. You could enjoy this nose for an hour. This is mellow with water added, but water lessened complexity. Score: 24/25

Taste: enough bitter peat intensity to satisfy the peat-head, and slightly more bitter than in the nose. Brine is quite strong. This is a fine palate, though not quite the equal to the exquisite nose. Water bundled the flavours and offered no advantage. Score; 23/25

Finish: long strong gradual fade out. With water, same comment as under "Taste". Score: 22.5/25

Balance: excellent in the nose; very good in the mouth. Score: 23/25

Total Sequential Score: 92.5 points

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Strength: strong flavours throughout, sometimes becoming very strong. Score: 23/25

Quality: very good to excellent quality of the component flavours. This whisky is an icon of the long-aged Laphroaig peaty-smokey style. Score: 23/25

Variety: plenty of heavy-Islay-style variety. Score: 22.5/25

Harmony: excellent harmony in nose; very good harmony in the mouth. Score: 23.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 92 points

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Comment: there is something hard to define or to describe which tastes of "old" in a whisky. I think that it is a combination of heavily-polished-down grain flavours combined with some very mellow and docile old used-oak flavours. This Laphraoig 25 yo 2013 release has those qualities on display, as do most 25 year olds. If you wanted to, you could give extra review points for "tasting old". It is an intangible which is not always reflected in the review score, but which experienced whisky drinkers can perceive and appreciate. In this day of expensive 20+ yo whisky, just the uncommonness of 'old whisky taste' is an uncommon pleasure which can be savoured in and of itself. So, in summation, this Laphroaig 25 yo CS 2013 release is just one of many 92 point whiskies which I have reviewed, but it is one of relatively few 'old whiskies' which I have had the opportunity to appreciate

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5 comments

@Pierre
Pierre commented

@Victor I've been priveleged enough to taste some very old and rare whiskies. I know exactly what you mean about that indefineable quality a slowly aged, very old, whisky can have. I've also tasted 'rancio' in old whisky, I'm sure you're familiar with the term - it's usually applied to aged cognac or wine. Is that what you're picking up here?

5 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre, yes I do think that the 'rancio' concept does apply to some of the elements of the very long wood aging in whiskies. Drying tobacco, cigar box, cedarwood, ginger, and subtle nuttiness are ways to try to describe some of the noticeable effects of very long aging in used oak barrels. I think that the closest I can come to it in words is the smell and resultant taste of being in a very old library full of ancient books. It is a little bit funky, but it has its own sort of charm.

5 months ago 0

@Pierre
Pierre commented

And that is what you are paying for if you buy something like this. Some of the whiskies that come from warmer climates can 'mature' in shorter times than most scotch, apparently achieving peak age in 8-10 years. But the colder, slower maturation in Scotland, and similar places, allows a gentle maturation that can in some cases give a whisky 20-40 years under wood. That does something very special that you have to taste to know. I love that realisation you get when you raise a glass of this kind of whisky to your nose and just know it's OLD. And like anything old it has stories to share, if you are patient.

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Pierre, since reading your discourse with @Victor, I've been fighting the urge to open a bottle holding a whisky long aged in a climate with cold winters and warm summers. Alberta Premium 30 YO is one of my favourite whiskies. The aromas and entry are incredible. Thirty years in oak has this one slightly off balance with the finish a bit off the mark, like many great story tellers. Every minute spent in its company is thoroughly enjoyable.

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

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