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The guys of the Ypres Whisky Friends have realized their first club bottling. It’s an Islay Blended Malt, although that is to be taken with a grain of salt. The cask number leaves no doubt that this is a Laphroaig, according to insiders teaspooned with a bit of Caol Ila, so that it can no longer be termed single malt. They share the cask with the Magnificent Five – also from Belgium – who took the rest of the cask, but selected a totally different packaging. I dare name them both here, because I am quite convinced they will both sell out pretty quickly.
I have often said that peat and sherry is a difficult combination for me, but when they get it right, it is usually great and that is certainly the case on this nose. Wonderful notes of smoked ham wrapped in black pepper, ashes of the barbecue, the inner tube of a bicycle (not an off-note!) and then some sweet baked apples and raisins. Some late milk chocolate. A fat slice of bacon with a rind from here to Islay. What a bomb!
Wonderfully oily and the ABV gives it quite some punch, without burning. On the palate there is a smoke development rarely experienced, while salt and sweet go head to head. But it’s a friendly match for they embrace instead of trying to out-do each other. Sweetness dominates, while salt and smoke keep things interesting. Very feisty on nutmeg, cloves and black pepper.
The finish – excuse me, Finish with capital F – lasts forever and makes me eager to pour another one.
What a great cask selection. Dark, sweet and peaty Laffie. Wonderful! A bottle is only 85 EUR which is a very fair price for this great malt. I am happy to have secured a couple of bottles.