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You wouldn't think you would want a Laphroaig on a warm spring day like today - but since they are my personal favourite (so this review is biased!) I couldn't resist.
Elements of Islay is an independent bottling (from The Whisky Exchange) where they blend together casks (or use single casks - one never knows) from single distilleries (full strength, non coloured, non chill filtered), and market it like some kind of alcoholic chemistry experiment (even to the extent of being "signed off" by some expert; in the case of this bottle, by Charles Maclean). They even go so far as to have www.islay.com as their URL, like some kind of definitive statement on the island. Lp1 is their first (and so far only) Laphroaig expression.
The whisky coats the glass - you can see the high proof - and the colour is a deep yellow, no unlike, um...urine. The nose is a warm wave of peat reek, lemon, misty sea air, and licorice. Water brings out more citrus....ahhhh.
Then it is an explosion in the mouth, peat smoke of course but also chili oil, hay, and damp earth. Somehow it is both very light (honey?) yet strong (tobacco). Very medicinal but even richer with a little water.
Perfectly balanced. There is more peat in the mouth than on the nose, and a long, dying campfire finish that just makes you melt inside. The oily mouthcoating stays with you for days. More Laphroaigy than Laphroaig - and it's rare when the product itself surpasses the clever and creative marketing. I love love love it. Right now - my favourite whisky.