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Laphroaig Select

Baby Laphroaig

1 881

@tjbReview by @tjb

9th Jul 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

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RikS commented

Fun how the select, which seems to get a lot of stick and is readily available at the discount price of £25 was just getting 'almost' the best rating of all the Laphroaigs in a head to head by the chaps at WhiskyVault, only beat by Lore... :) [including Cairdeas, 10, triple wood, QC, Lore]

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

If they had bottled Select at 48% like QC and TW, it would be a much better whisky. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Your score seems about right. I’d probably rate it a touch higher (maybe 83) but I’m an irrational Laphroaigophile so take that for what it’s worth. Your notes seem pretty spot on, if memory serves correctly.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

MadSingleMalt commented

When there's more whisky in your whisky, it's usually better whisky.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

tjb commented

Amen @MadSingleMalt ! At 46% or 48% it would be different league. Mind you, 4 yrs and several hundred different whiskies later I still stand by the review. I still think QC is my favourite in terms of value. The cask strength are mind blowingly good but for a daily drinker too expensive and hard to get hold of. The Select is lovely and I’m sure there are some people who think it’s the best Laphroaig ever... just not me. Close but no cigar. Now if we are talking about An Cuan Mor, that’s a different league all together and my all time fav expression from Laphroaig.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@tjb Here in Canada the QC is just $20 less than the Cairdeas. And the VS I got from someone in the US, after exchange, would be about the price as the QC here.

So with a Cairdeas Fino soon to be in my possession and a couple of 2015s in reserve, and an open Cask strength, I can't justify the purchase of the QC right now.

That said, it is a fine expression and the 2 bottles I've finished over about 7 years were both excellent. If I run out of high proof, high flavour Laphroaig, the QC will definitely be on my short list.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan a little splash of Laphroaig 10 adds a nice high end brightness to QC. A 3:1 ratio of QC:10 seems about right.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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