Laphroaig 18 Year Old – A Tasting
This expression was introduced in 2009 as a direct replacement for the much loved 15 year old. (which I understand was Prince Charles’s favourite)
I have been a Friend of Laphroaig for many years. As a Friend you are given lifetime lease on a square foot plot which sits close to the distilleries water source – The Kilbride Stream. Another benefit of being a Friend is that every time you visit the distillery you can pick up your rent, usually a miniature of Laphroaig stamped with The Friends of Laphroaig logo. On this visit you can also visit your square foot of land, if wet the distillery will supply you with wellies.
Farmers Donald and Alexander Johnston founded this distillery in 1815 on Islay’s south coast. Laphroaig is gaelic for ‘broad hollow by the bay’.
Laphroaig also boasts a fantastic shop and visitor They also have various tours available, check out their website here.
This particular bottle we are tasting today was a win for Nicola at the Scotch Whisky Auctions. This bottling normally sells for around £275.00 but Nicola had a winning bid of £145.00, I think that was a bit of a steal.
Now it is time for a taste.
Nose…Elegant, sweet perfumed peat smoke, a whisper of a sea breeze, a mixed citrus juice squeezed over smoked salmon, a hint of mixed spices led by ginger.
Taste…Rich with a fruity sweetness, calm but assertive, more citrus bursts, a coastal warmth, adding a teardrop of water brings out a fragrant smokiness, (go easy on adding water).
Finish…A long finish, a little drying, distant smoke, still sweet and a touch of lingering ginger spice.
What a grand dram, all who know me will be aware that if it comes from Islay, I just love it. So anything coming out of the Laphroaig Distillery can do no wrong.
John Campbell is the master distiller at Laphroaig and has worked there for over 26 years, starting by stencilling and numbering casks. This 18 year old we have just enjoyed is quite special.