The interwebz is a wonderful place. Hang out in enough whisky-themed places (Connosr, Instagram, Facebook) and you start to develop a nice little network. Thus far, I feel like I’ve received far more than I’ve put out into the whisky-verse, but I’m always trying to balance out that equation as best I can. This sample came my way from a Facebook friend and fellow Laphroaigophile who has helped me acquire several hard to get (for me) bottles. I remain in his debt.
I believe this is a travel retail exclusive, but I could be wrong.
- Nose(undiluted): damp peat, dark fruit (raisins, dates), a hint of cinnamon, some iodine, brine, and a the medicinal/antiseptic note that Laphroaig is known for.
- Palate (undiluted): very soft, rounded, I'm shocked that this is 48% ABV, quite fruity, almost sticky with dates, less smoke than I expect from Laphroaig, subtle coffee notes
- Finish: medium length, malty, oat cakes, somewhat medicinal with a touch of smoke and dates lingering
With water, there's a mineral note that comes out on the nose, like pencil lead. The fruit becomes a bit brighter, with lemons joining the raisins and dates. The palate and finish are almost unchanged with water, there is a slight re-ordering of the flavours, with the smoke being a bit more prominent, but otherwise it stays the same. Add water or don't, it doesn't seem to change much.
This feels like a “summer Laphroaig”, almost like what Select could have been, had they bottled it at a more respectable strength. It’s a bit fruitier and not quite as smoky and medicinal as I want it to be, but it’s pleasant nonetheless. I won’t try to hunt down a bottle, but I would certainly purchase one if I came across it at a reasonable price.
Nice review. I don't think it is possible or wise for a casual Islay sipper to track down every expression, but having read your review I would more likely than not accept a dram if offered.
"Add water or don't, it doesn't seem to change much."
Sweet! Then your free tab water can be immediately transformed into expensive Laphroaig.