Laphroaig ‘Select’ (40%, OB)

Here it is, that last month of the year, again! Unbelievable how quickly time flies when one ages. Not too long untill the next Christmas and soon another new year. Luckily every season has its benefits. Winter is a season that makes peated Whiskies even tastier than they already are. A long time ago, I was introduced to Laphroaig 10yo (export strength, 43%). People were raving about it so I went out to buy myself a bottle. Being used to Bourbons and Scottish Blends, I was quite shocked what a Single Malt Whisky cost. I turned around ran out of the store…

Laphroaig SelectWalking around for a bit (no way I was going to pay that!) However, it was cold and I really wanted that simple green glass bottle with that simple but classy white label. I couldn’t resist and went back in. Then it hit me, the vision of that handy flat 20 cl bottle. Great! That offered me a taste of Laphroaig without losing a lot of hard-earned cash, so I got me a Laphroaig 10yo. Great! The rest, as they say, is history. I liked it so much I was hooked for life.

Much later, in 2014 to be exact, Laphroaig released yet another new bottling and called it ‘Select’ since the Whisky is from “hand selected oak casks for perfect balance and flavour” Well I didn’t know that up untill now Laphroaig picked their casks at random, or let a computer decide. Strange…

Color: Light gold

Nose: Fresh and heavy peat, like from the old days. It does bring back memories. Lots of iodine, and therefore medicinal. Salt, tar and sea spray mixed with some ashes. Distant smoke. Salty and smoked dry kippers. This is how a Laphroaig should smell. Nice!

Taste: What! Sugar water, some more sugar-water. Where is the rest. It takes a while but finally some ashes arrive with some heat. In that heat the peat emerges. Nice peat, but very childish peat, no stout bearded peat, but nice candied peat. Likeable. Where is my love it or hate it Laphroaig, this is a entry-level Laphroaig. Try to gain some new souls Laphroaig. Cold sweet tea with more ashes and a sugary sweet finish to match. Finish is not short. The ashes and peat stay on, but have to fight the sweetness off.

What a Whisky. They made me think with the stunning nose Laphroaig has returned to something that made me love Laphroaig in the first place, but when trying it, it turns out to be Laphroaig candy! Don’t try this after another Laphroaig, because almost any other Laphroaig will blow it out of the water. Try it after a Lowlander and it will be a lot better.

Having said all this, I don’t hate it. It has a stunning nose, and it does have a purpose letting newbies be scared by the nose, but liking the taste. There is something of the old Laphroaig in the taste department too, but it is hidden behind a lot of sweetness, and it does have a decent finish. The label states that this expression had a final maturation in new American oak casks, but I didn’t get the new wood not the vanilla it usually brings. By the way, it tastes a little bit watery. 40% fits the purpose, I mentioned above, but for me it could have been (a lot) higher in ABV, but there are probably other Laphroaigs for that…

Points: 83

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