The Laffie Select jumps on the bandwagon of the NAS hype. The name Select points to the selection of casks that was used for the composition of this new release, being oloroso sherry butts, PX seasoned hogsheads, quarter casks and straight American white oak (probably virgin wood). According to the website, this enabled them to discover 6 new taste combinations. The final selection for bottling was done by their fanbase, the Friends of Laphroaig. Well, maybe that is what the Select refers to. Anyway, let us get to it.
On the nose it is only slightly medicinal and completely devoid of fruit (bar some coconut?) and offers only wood shavings, pepper and a twig of mint. Atypical is the least you can say about this. Some stable scent. Reminds me more of Glen Scotia than Laffie, to be honest.
On the palate, I get a lot more spice and loads of oak – a bit too much to be truly enjoyable. Loads of hay, tea that has been in the glass too long, mint and aspartame. Yes, this is fairly sweet. But where is the typical ashtray, asphalt or seaweed? The whole it fairly light, by the way.
The finish is rather short, with vanilla at the very end.
To be honest, I am totally underwhelmed with this new Laffie. Thanks anyway, Pat.
Thanks for your review, Mark.
Mmmm, aspartame. Wow, that is a contender for worst possible flavour profile. One more reason for me not to want a bottle of Laphroaig Select. No one on Connosr seems to like Laphroaig Select. It will be interesting to see whether Laphroaig keeps this expression around for later iterations. I suppose that that depends on whether or not Laphroaig Select fulfills its alleged purpose of bringing lighter flavour profile drinkers over to Laphroaig. I really do suspect that "Laphroaig Light" flaovur lovers can do reasonably well with blended Scotch at half the price.
It's like 'Diet Laphroaig' but at the same time all the more dangerous as you can have more than just a few before it overpowers you.
I'm reliably informed by a Laphroaig employee that Select scored very well in Asian markets as it suits the softer palates of that region. I'm guessing it may be a bridge between Islay hardcorers like myself and those who initially find the abrasive qualities of massive peatiness overwhelming too.
The more I try it, the more it grows on me.