Whisky Connosr

Laphroaig 26 Year Old 1989 Douglas Laing XOP

Black Olives

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

3rd Dec 2016


Laphroaig 26 Year Old 1989 Douglas Laing XOP
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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While this is also a refill hogshead, the color is much darker than that of sister cask 10798 that I just tried. Sherry cask? The ABV is just a tad lower. This Laffie was also bottled by Douglas Laing in their excellent XOP (Extra Old Particular) range. The bottle will cost you around 600 EUR if you can still find it. Indeed, no doubt, this is a sherry cask. Dark fruit, tobacco leaves, cocoa, raisins and some silt in the mix (albeit discreet). Walnuts. The emphasis here is clearly on the dark and sweet aroma’s. Only after leaving it to breath for several minutes, will the typical character of Laphroaig show itself with some medicinal touches, sweet peat and sea breeze. Very, very good nose. It is oily and mouth coating with loads of dark sweet fruit that succeeds in kicking the salt to the back bench. Or does it? With the second sip, the figs and raisins must admit defeat against the spirit. Pepper, liquorice, nutmeg. A touch of ginger, candied no less. Walnuts for a bitterness. The smoke suddenly turns very big and the peat puts its foot down. The saltiness returns with a brackish vengeance. A hint of black olives and smoked ham. In the wonderfully long finish it turns back to the sweet side, but it dies on mildly bitter notes as if from burnt wood. The mouth is left parched. On the nose it was all about the sherry cask, but on the palate, the spirit was simply to powerful. It makes for a magnificent and finely balanced Laffie. Alas, also magnificently unaffordable for yours truly.

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