Laphroaig has always been one of my favourite distilleries and while the core range has been relatively solid, the travel retail exclusives have been somewhat lacklustre (apart from the stellar PX Cask, of course) in recent years.
As such, I have been sourcing for independent expressions of Laphroaig (among other Islay distilleries) and have come across some rather interesting expressions which have been bottled over the last year or so.
One of these expressions would have to be a Laphroaig which was bottled for Loch Fyne Whiskies which is located in Inveraray, Scotland. This expression was distilled in 2006, matured in a refill sherry butt for 11 years before bring bottled by independent bottler Hunter Laing for their First Editions range and as a Feis Ile exclusive for Loch Fyne.
It was also bottled at a rather robust cask strength abv of 57.6% and this was definitely something which caught my eye. So when the chance presented itself to purchase a sample (thanks David!), I didn’t hesitate.
So, let’s jump right into the review!
Laphroaig 2006 11 Years Old (Bottled by Hunter Laing, First Editions, Loch Fyne Whiskies Feis Ile 2017 Release, 57.6% abv)
Colour: Deep gold
Nose: Initial entry presents a whack of sea salt, creosote and dry, smouldering peat, followed by hints of rancio, limestone, sage, thyme and tarragon. With time, hints of oak, green fruits, camphor and dried fish emerge. (21/25)
Palate: Initial entry presents the typical Laphroaig coastal peat and iodine hints coupled with green fruits (specifically kiwi and guava), kelp, camphor, smouldering bonfires and more of the dried fish which was detected on the nose. There is a fair bit of heat which has been generated by the peat as well as the rather robust abv, but it aids in the integration.With time, white pepper, creosote, sage and oak follow and are complemented by hints of sage, cigar leaves and ash. (22/25)
Finish: Medium to long on the finish, with the green fruits, sea salt, peat and cigar ash intermingling well and lingering thereafter. (21/25)
Balance: A relatively well-balanced and enjoyable expression of Laphroaig which exhibits a fair bit of complexity as well as a multitude of facets. The sherry hints are rather understated in terms of intensity and are mostly apparent in the sweetness of this expression. The mouthfeel is drying for the most part, which fits the general character of this expression as well. (22/25)
This expression of Laphroaig is rather difficult to acquire due to its inherent rarity as there were only 120 bottled made available. As such, one may have to rely on auction websites in order to acquire a bottle, but believe me when I say that it is worth the price.
Until the next review, have a wonderful week ahead.
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