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I was on the Laphroaig website the other week and saw that Cask Strength Batch 006 had been released. So I immediately stuck a couple of bottles in the basket when I saw the Select. I hadn't heard much of it at this stage. Some people has said a few things but being a fan of everything Laphroaig (generally) I thought "what the hell" and added a bottle to the basket.
Laphroaig say...” Select gets its name from the special selection of American and European casks, chosen for their unique character that they give during maturation. Our Inspiration for our new Global expression has been take from history – 70-80 years ago, the time of the last family member owner of the distillery, Ian Hunter. Ian was one of the biggest influences in the history of Laphroaig indeed he was one of the first distillers to travel to bourbon county in the USA to identify new sources of casks that would give him greater consistency as well as new flavours. He later married this ‘new’ style of Laphroaig with his traditionally matured (European cask) Laphroaig. Inspired by his early work , we have used Oloroso sherry butts, straight American white oak (non-filled with bourbon), PX seasoned hogsheads, Quarter Casks and finally of course first fill Bourbon Casks. This varied cask maturation technique enabled us to create 6 new flavour combinations that were then tested with our FOL’s to choose their favourite style and indeed name. The winning flavour and name chosen by you is LAPHROAIG SELECT.”
Serious marketing gimmickry if you ask me but then I am a sucker for a well marketed malt so who am I to complain.
It is bottled at 40%, pale in the glass and the nose...It is a Laphroaig, you can recognise its familiar profile but compared to the 10, QC or Cask Strength its a bit less TCP/ Iodine and more woody smoke and ashes. Vanilla, sweet grapefruit, smoky, salty.
The nose ticks the box...check so it cant be too bad!
On the palate it is salty, smoky, BBQ ashes, woody, nutty, slightly sweet. It is not quite as oily as I remember the 10. You do get the iodine but not as strong as the QC.
Oddly, the finish is not as long as you expect or want. It is medium, smoky, salty, lovely but fading.
Its a Laphroaig Jim but not as we know it.
I like it but it's a bit tame. It would be an absolute ideal intro to Whisky fans to Laphroaig but those who want the “punch in the face” Laphroaig you have come to expect then its not quite that. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is not good and the beginners tag is not to say it isn't good, it is... its just not great. QC is still king in this price point.