What can be said about Laphroaig that I haven’t already said? We all know that I love Laphroaig and this 18 year version is no different and shows off a whole different, softer, sweeter side of Laphroaig who’s typically known for being a big blustery and smoky whisky. The kind of whisky that feels like there’s a fireplace in your belly and your mouth is the top of the chimney. This however, is not that kind of whisky.
The phenols in peated whisky that give it that smoky punch tend to fade a bit with age and as they do they allow other aspects of the malt to show themselves. In the case of Laphroaig that reduction of peat allows sweeter and more citrus driven aspects to be showcased much more prominently than in the younger drams. The reduction also seems to show off a crisp austere spirit that runs clean from start to finish. It’s morphed from that brawler of a whisky we all know and love into something that’s related but different. To see just how different check out the tasting notes below.
Laphroaig 18 Review
Age: 18 years
Golden pear juice
It’s lighter than I was expecting and feels a bit etherial, but it has nice notes of peat, vanilla, orchard fruit, smoked meat, brine, citrus, Novocain and a light caramel. Add a bit of water and it opens up, releasing a bit more peat, citrus, sweetness and a touch of wood.
Here it’s a bit more robust and comes through heavier than it did on the nose. Vanilla and peat walk through first, hand in hand, followed by apples, caramel, Novocain, citrus and cinnamon while some delightful notes of wood, brine, smoked meat and malt develop in the background. Add a splash of water and the everything intensifies and unfolds, especially the citrus which takes on a grapefruit like quality to it.
Long warm fade of peat, graham, wood, char, spice and vanilla.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance to this dram with everything sitting at harmony. Medium bodied with and nice silken feel that’s elegant from start to finish.
Buyer beware, this is not the Laphroaig you’re used to, it isn’t a tempest in a bottle, but more like the beast whose transformed into a prince after 18 years in an ex-bourbon barrel. It’s a different Laphroaig than the 10, a world away from the Laphroaig 10 CS and has a more refined character all it’s own. Light and silken on the nose, palate and finish it’s lost some of that raw elemental delivery of it’s younger counterparts that I love so much but it’s been replaced with refined sweet and citrus notes that bring a different perspective to this fantastic distillery.