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Last dram of schoolbreak was a laphroaig quarter cask. Right out of the bottle, I can tell this is Good stuff: we get of course the signature peat. But we get green notes as well: Apple, coconut, brine.
And on the palate we get fruity malt lined w/ smoke, salty iodine. And spices: White, black pepper, nutmeg.
The alcool is there, but do not becomes overwhelming to me. My girlfriend disagreed, but she's more of a rhum person anyway ;).
We get so much from the malt, it's really nice. Not just the sweetness, but the floral-fruity notes. And the peat which is there all around, liek the silver lining on a colourfull cloud. No storms here: it's all about the balance between the mal, the wood and the peat. But all are bold yet constrained. I really do not know how they manage it.
Highland Park is a well balanced dram as well, but to me it feels as if everything is too subdued in HP, too calm. Here, things are happening, things are moving, people are singing. And it makes me happy.
Adding water brings, as expected, som flowery notes (roses?) and seems to underline the sweetness a bit. And it seemed to make me loose the salty notes I oh so love. So no water anymore.
The finish is good with the coconut coming back w/ some fresh hard wood. The smoke leaves a nice dryness as well. I feel like i'm back in time doing reno work with my dad and grandpa. The fresh and vibrant wood notes, the burned smell you get when drilling or sawing to vigourously. Wow!
That was my first Laphroaig. In the past, Lagavulin and Caol Ila were my goto Islay peat pushers. But, wow, this one is now right up ther with those 2. Only wished it had a bit more depth. I guess I'll have to try the 10 YO Cask Strenght. Poor ol' me ;)