I love whisky. I love floral whiskies from Speyside, light and delicate whiskies from the lowlands, big bones whiskies from the Highlands, briney whiskies from the islands and I really, really, really enjoy peated whiskies from Islay. I think I have more Islay whiskies in my vast collection than anything else and that is partly due to the large numbers of Laphroaigs that I have squirrelled away.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a Laphroaig 10 year old is the first peated whisky that most people try. It is quite medicinal but it definitely was the beginning of my love affair with peated whiskies. As I continued my journey through their range, I began gravitating towards other expressions and boldly stating that they became my preferred whisky from that range. The Laphroaig 18 year old is that whisky. The problem I’m facing is that the one that I’m in love with is also the one that is the older discontinued expression. (Insert ‘face palm’ here)
The Older bottling comes in a green tube and the label is a little more dated. The nose on this whisky is so beautifully crafted. First sniff reveals a rich warming aroma of stewed pears, vanilla ice cream, smoked honey roast ham, peat, tobacco and ash. On the palate that sweetness is back again but this time with extra ripe, juicy, run down your face when you take a bite, pear. The marriage between that rich fruit and the peat is almost perfect. Vanilla is there again with hints of spice and maple bacon. The finish is warming but sweet and aromatic. It’s the perfect length too. This could just be one of my top 50.
By: The Whisky Snob