Laphroaig 15 Review

Laphroaig 15 Review

Laphroaig 15 – The return of the legend. Originally created 30 years ago the barrels for this whisky are specifically selected for a less-intense, more fruit heavy character that shows off the other qualities of Laphroaig; counter balancing the in-your-face nature of the Laphroaig 10 year. Eventually replaced by the Laphroaig 18 year, the L15 has long been a favorite of whisky fans the world over and to celebrate their 200th anniversary it’s back in a limited 72,000 bottle run.

To make matters even better it’s breaking the $100+ Limited Edition trend and coming to market at a much more wallet friendly $80. How refreshing is that? It’s really nice to see them pricing this at a not-absurd level which was one of my biggest concerns when I first read about its impending release. This also makes me excited for what’s to come with this year’s Cairdeas release. I have my fingers crossed for a 15 year version of the Portwood Cairdeas from 2013, but I won’t be holding my breath. Which I just learned will be an 11-12 yr Laphroaig that uses barley that was fully malted in the distillery on their malting floor instead of the combination of in house mixed with Port Ellen malting. It’ll be a true representation of Laphroaig through and through!

Laphroaig 15 Info

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Laphroaig
Mashbill: 100% malted barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry
Age: 15 years
ABV: 43%

Price: $80

Laphroaig 15 Review

EYE
Toffee

NOSE
Complex and deep the nose is wonderful. Peat, vanilla sweetness, complex fruit – hints of orchard, tropical and dark fruit – and honey come across crisp and rich. Some lighter notes of citrus peel, iodine and brine accompany and compliment the bolder aromas.

PALATE
That same rich complex fruit from the nose follows through and becomes more pronounced on the palate followed by firm notes of smoky peat, graham crackers, honey and a noticeable salty quality. There is a light sherry-like sweetness riding beneath along with a light bit of iodine and spice.

FINISH
Smoked meat, grilled fruit, caramel and a red-fruit-like sweetness on a medium fade.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Nicely balanced with a round full body and a velvety slick texture.

OVERALL
I like the new Laphroaig 15 and as soon as K&L gets some in I’ll be grabbing at least one. I will say that I like the older 15 a bit more, but this is a decent follow-up and I have no real complaints other than I wish the palate was just a bit richer. It’s warm and tasty, but compared to the dynamic nose it’s a bit muted. Like the now extinct Laphroaig 18 it’s not the big burly monster that it’s younger 10 year counter part is, but it’s still a good Laphroaig and a great whisky.

SCORE: 91/100

Laphroaig 15 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 93
  • Palate - 89
  • Finish - 91
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 91

Value

Laphroaig 15 is priced just right. I was afraid it would come out at $100+, but at $80 it’s priced just right in my opinion. Definitely a buy.

*Disclosure: This bottle of Laphroaig 15 was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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3 Responses to Laphroaig 15 Review

  1. I got a bottle of this yesterday and have had two wee drams thus far, one neat and one with a small ice cube. As a long time fan of Quarter Cask 15yr/200th is like a smooth, refined version of QC with a far more intense and complex series of flavors. I am thoroughly impressed and would recommend drinking neat. There are definitely some nice bourbon undertones with this one, I know Laphroaig sources their barrels from Makers Mark and it shows with 15yr/200th.

  2. Jason, please help me make a decision. I love Laphroaig (the 10 and 10 CS are staples for me). The 15 year, 2015 Cairdeas (100% Laphroaig floor malt) and 2016 Cairdeas (Madiera) are all sitting on my local liquor store shelf for $80, but I’ve only got the budget this month to get one of them. Which should I go with? Don’t know if the other two will still be available next time I’ve got whisky $$

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