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Laphroaig 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 48%
Another undisputed classic soon to become kiln smoke (this time for good) is Laphroaig 18. Having literally run out of liquid, Beam Suntory plans to phase out the 18 year old by the end of 2016. There were rumours that the 15 would be a replacement for the 18-year-old, but evidently, there are no plans to keep producing either expression. That leaves the Laphroaig 10-year-old as the only readily available bottling with an age statement (excluding the 25YO). Dan Woolley, ambassador for Beam Suntory Australia, has added: “The 15 will become the Friends of Laphroaig-bottling released as a limited edition every year and the 18 will be replaced.”
Originally introduced in 2009, it superseded the popular 15-year-old, and represented one of the most exciting new Islay releases in years - a welcome (some might say overdue!) return to form for Laphroaig. The extra three years in the cask softens the whisky and ups the complexity. With extended time in barrel the compounds that contribute the peaty, smoky flavours tend to dissipate, allowing more of the wood and barley characteristics to shine through. On the other hand, the rich and sometimes oily mouthfeel derived from the use of peat when producing such whiskies remains.
This release is bottled at the higher strength of 48% bringing it into line with other successful Laphroaig's like 'Quarter Cask' and 'An Cuan Mor' (duty free only bottling).
Tasting notes: Pale straw colour with water like hue - such a light colour for a whisky of this age is a very positive indicator that colouring was not used. A deep, fresh nose delivers Laphroaig's distinctive wet wool/lanolin, vanilla cream biscuit, honey medley followed a touch of cocoa. Unquestionably Laphroaig, less the assertive iodine injection; not one characteristic overpowers another, the aroma is harmonious, and causes considerable excitement in anticipation of a sip. Rich, supple entry allows the flavours promised by the nose a spotlight on centre stage. Superb, creamy flavours of peat reek, tar, vanilla cream biscuit and honey are delivered with impressive length. The gently spicy, liquorice-like flourish on the finish is a treat. Exquisite balance. A very long lanolin, toasty oak, vanilla and honey after taste is followed by a late menthol cigarette fade. Bravo Laphroaig! 48.0% Alc./Vol.
Other reviews... Rich peaty aromas with nougat, peach creme brulee, and smoky grilled fruits and nuts with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a long melange and fruits, nuts, spice, lit menthol cigarette, and smoky earth peat. Excellent balance and style.
International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal
RATING: 95 points (Exceptional)- www.tastings.com
...multi layered smokiness...absolutely brimming with character and panache from the first molecules escaping the bottle as you p[our to the very final ember dying on the middle of your tongue.
94 points - Jim Murrays Whisky Bible 2015