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Laphroaig Cooper's Choice 2002 10 Year Old

Two Laphroaigs - Part II

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

3rd Sep 2013


Laphroaig Cooper's Choice 2002 10 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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The Cooper's Choice is the brand name of the Vintage Malt Whisky Co., an independent bottler. Why are they called "Cooper's Choice"? Well, the notes on the cardboard tube tell us that the casks are chosen by "the man who made the barrel." Really? Well, unless they are yanking a Kentucky cooper across the pond to pick the cask from the Laphroaig warehouse...hmmm...ah, marketing.

Cooper's Choice bottlings are non-coloured, non-chill-filtered and I believe all cask strength (this one certainly is). Bottled in 2012, this was matured in hogshead #0289, which yielded 300 bottles.

The colour is a very light yellow. On the nose, that typical Laphroaig burst of smoke is more muted, weaving around loads of citrus. Still very medicinal, however, with bandages and antiseptic. A slightly sour note, though - very lemony. Water lets the malt shine through.

On the palate, a little sweeter than you would imagine, but then the alcohol heat really starts to kick in. Lemon pie filling (I know that doesn't sound good in a whisky, but it kinda works here), brine and nori. Water tames the heat and lets the other notes have their say. It also goes without saying, it's all pretty peaty, though not as much as the current ten year old distillery bottling.

The finish is very deep and smoky, almost unsettling. Not an easy dram, but then again, who ever said Laphroaig was easy? Not bad, but not great - it all does have a bit of a sour note in the background, and a little too much lemon.

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