I don’t often want to review what might turn out to be a heavily peated whisky in the midst of a heatwave ( unofficial of course but it is above 16 degrees so its a heatwave in my opinion !! ) Anyway, a Laphroaig hitting 21 years of age and from Douglas Laing… What could possibly go wrong.
The XOP series from Douglas Laing is said to reserved for those X-TRA special releases and from the ones i have tried so far then i do see why they are released with a little extra care and attention. I recently mentioned i am a sucker for a good wooden box ( changed from package due to immature comments and sniggers ) and this release certainly has a good one ( box !! )
Anyway, Laphroaig, Laphroaig whisky hails from that little island off the west coast of Scotland called Islay ( You might have heard of it ) Well know for the export of Peated whisky. This small island with a population of around 3200-3300 people is the home of Laphroaig Distillery which was founded back in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston, and is found at Port Ellen, Islay.. The distillery today comes under the wings of Beam Suntory and can produce around 2,600,000 litres of alcohol per year.
Whisky hailing from Laphroaig is very well received around the world and has a very loyal following which in some cases can create very interesting conversations. I know whats its like to have a love affair with a product from a particular distillery and those rose tinted glasses often blur our judgement when looking at the constant releases.
Having had a few samples of Laphroaig from both official releases and indie bottlers i am quite looking forward to trying this as at 21 years of age and fully matured in a sherry cask i am expecting that peat to have subdued a little and hopefully that sherry cask will have married perfectly with the peat.
Laphroaig 21 Year Old 1999 -cask 14621 – Xtra Old Paticular (Douglas Laing)
Age.. 21 years
Cask.. Sherry Butt #14621
Bottler.. Douglas Laing – XOP series
Nose.. A wonderfully balance of dried fruits and smoke. Those dried fruits just bounce around the senses while dark toffee, honey, chocolate, orange rind and coffee aromas blend right in with the smoke which at times is actually lost due to the barrage of notes.
Palate.. The smoke / peat comes alive here. There is an intense earthy drying feel before those dried fruits and chocolate notes begin to meander in. There is a very interesting Kipper style note lurking in the background which comes and goes. The palate seems to come in waves, one minute its extremely ashy and then its as soft as can be with the salinity shining on the back of sweetness.
Finish.. Smoky and spicy
Thoughts.. This is very interesting and offers up a different style of Laphroaig to the ones i am used to, those dried fruits and typical sherry notes do very little to subdue the smoke like i had hoped but in this instance its ok, it works rather well..