The last time the Malt Nuts gathered to taste Laphroaig we did so with Laphroaig all aged from 10 – 15 years old and it was a truly awesome Laphroaig tasting. This young Laphroaig tasting in comparison was fun and interesting and that’s a key difference I think. Can these whippersnappers compare to most of the whisky we tried the night we delved into the double digit Laphroaigs? Not really. But are these intellectually and sensory interesting? Yes.
As per usual we gathered in a private location, dined on Kosher food and caught up on the comings and goings of the group members and essentially got comfortable. Which is important, to let your senses do their thing you need to be relaxed. It’s one of the reasons I love the groups in LA so much, they never feel stuffy or overbearing. Intimidating at first sure, but once you get to know your fellow imbibers it’s nothing but a good time.
And speaking of a good time here’s how the line up, blinded as usual, broke out that evening.
Malt Nuts Young Laphroaig Tasting Round Breakout
- 50.5% and under.
- 55.9% and higher.
Let’s dig in!
Malt Nuts Young Laphroaig Tasting – 50.5% And Under
1A: Laphroaig Cairdeas Ileach Edition: 50.5%
- Nose: Orchard fruit, vanilla, peat, malt, honey, herbal, spice and oil.
- Palate: Peat, fruit, malt, vanilla, honey, herbal and iodine.
- Finish: Long -> Saline, peat, cocoa, vanilla and oil.
- Overall: B- (80-82) A touch spirity but not too bad, interestingly spicy.
1B: Laphroaig Lore: 48% ex-Bourbon, Quarter Cask and ex-Sherry
- Nose: Toffee, herbal, mint, sweet malt, peat, fruit and a bit floral and minerally.
- Palate: herbal, mint, toffee, peat, malt, saline, mineral water and oil.
- Finish: Long -> Herbal, mint, toffee, saline, peat and dried fruit.
- Overall: B (83-86) A decent Laphroaig, has a nice sweetness to it, but damn that’s some crazy mint in there. Never had a Laphroaig that came across this minty.
1C: Laphroaig PX Cask: 48% – ex-Bourbon & ex-PX
- Nose: Mint, peat, toffee, caramel, saline, citrus and oil.
- Palate: Caramel, toffee, cinnamon, peat, saline, oil and a bit herbal.
- Finish: Long -> Herbal, caramel, toffee, cinnamon and peat.
- Overall: C+ (77-79) Weird and disjointed. None of that minerality that typically shows up with young Laphroaig. In fact, none of them have had that yet, but they’ve had a surprising amount of mint… am I off tonight?
1D: The Copper’s Choice Laphroaig 2005 Vintage: 46%
- Nose: Honey, apricot, peat, toffee, iodine, saline and alkaline.
- Palate: Honey, apricot, peat, toffee, iodine, saline, alkaline and mint.
- Finish: Long -> Herbal, peat, toffee and iodine.
- Overall: B (83-86) Huh, that’s not too bad. This is actually quite tasty, almost a B+.
1E: That Boutique-y Whisky company Laphroaig 6 years: 50.2%
- Nose: Peat, pine, herbal, mineral, vanilla, spirit and oil.
- Palate: Peat, pine, herbal, mineral, vanilla, spirit and oil.
- Finish: Long -> Peat, oil, herbal, mineral and vanilla.
- Overall: B (83-86) There it is, there’s the minerality. Lower end of a B, but still quite nice to see it arrive.
Malt Nuts Young Laphroaig Tasting – 55.9% And Over
2A: Exclusive Malts Laphroaig 08 years (05-13): 55.9% – ex-Bourbon
- Nose: Peat, herbal, honey, apricot, saline and minerals.
- Palate: Peat, herbal, honey, apricot, saline, minerals and pine.
- Finish: Long -> Orchard, peat, honey, melon and mint.
- Overall: B (83-86) Ok… just ok.
2B: The Creative Whisky Co. Laphroaig : 56.5% – ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry
- Nose: Creamy, peaty, toffee, lemon curd, spice, malt and candy sweet.
- Palate: Candy sweetness, peat, toffee, lemon, spice, malt and a bit of dark fruit.
- Finish: Long -> Peat, saline, lemon and candy.
- Overall: B+ (87-89) Oooh this is nice. Layers and complexities, I’d take this one home tonight if I could.
2C: A.D. Rattray Laphroaig 5 years (11-17): 61.3% – ex-Sherry Butt
- Nose: Toffee, peat, mineral, saline and a touch oily.
- Palate: Caramel, toffee, peat, mineral, saline, wine and a touch oily.
- Finish: Long -> Caramel, citrus and peat.
- Overall: B+ (87-89) Yum… yum.
2D: Master Of Malt “Williamon” (Laphroaig) 6 years: 62.2% – Hogshead
- Nose: Toffee, mesquite, malt, apricot, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Palate: Toffee, mesquite, malt, apricot, minerality and cinnamon.
- Finish: Long -> Spice, mesquite, minerality and sweetness.
- Overall: B+ (87-89) Nice… nice.
2E: Acorn Brut de Fut (teaspooned Laphroaig) 6 years: 62.7%
- Nose: Nuts, malt, sherry, oil, peat, ash, minerality and dark fruit.
- Palate: Nuts, peat, sherry, cocoa, charcoal, minerality, dark fruit and citric acid.
- Finish: Long -> Nuts, cocoa, peat, sherry and ash.
- Overall: A- (90-92) This is just plain great. I could drink this all night.
2F: Single Cask Nation Laphroaig 6 years (06-12): 57.8% – Refill Bourbon Hogshead
- Nose: Minerality, citric acid, apples, peat , brûlée, 7UP and ash.
- Palate: Apples, minerality, citric acid, peat, brûlée, malt, 7UP and cupcakes.
- Finish: Long -> Metallic, minerality, fruit, peat and vanilla.
- Overall: B+ (87-89) Tasting this and 2E side-by-side is kind of crazy. They’re so different. Both tasty, but so different.
2G: Single Cask Nation Aultmore 8 years (08-16): 56.9% – ex-Bourbon
- Nose: Minerals, caramel, pineapple, mesquite and pear.
- Palate: Funky, minerals, dark sweets, fruit, mesquite and peat.
- Finish: Long -> Funk, peat and minerals.
- Overall: B- (83-86) Weird. Water brings out a bit of coconut and it’s just… weird. Not bad or off… just weird.
2H: As We Get It Laphroaig: 61.7% – ex-Bourbon
- Nose: Banana bread, pears, raisins, peat, minerals and herbal.
- Palate: Banana bread, pears, raisins, peat, minerals, butter and herbal.
- Finish: Long -> Floral, spice, banana bread and smoke.
- Overall: C+ (77-79) Banana bread!?! Holy crap.
2I: Single Cask Nation Laphroaig 5 years (2011-2016): 57.9% – Refill Bourbon Hogshead
- Nose: Smoke, minerality, oil, nuts, spice and dark fruit.
- Palate: Smoke, minerality, oil, nuts, spice and dark fruit.
- Finish: Long -> Smoke, minerality, oil and spirit
- Overall: B- (80-82) Kinda boring. Not bad, just a bit on the boring side.
I’m working on a follow-up article to this, an opinion / insight piece, spurred on by this tasting and the Corn Nuts tasting I’ll be posting this week as well, but I’ll give you sneak peek. This evening the Lore came across as minerally and minty, qualities I’ve never picked up in Lore, qualities I’m not finding now while sitting here sipping it and writing up these notes. However, when pitting it blind against the 2016 Cairdeas, 25, 30, 18, 10 CS and 10 I put it as my 3rd favorite and picked up things I’m not picking up now.
The order you taste things in, and what else it’s tasted with, can affect whisky. This is why I don’t eat until the tasting is over. I have a lot more to talk about on this subject. Which I also recently got to test with a small flight of Port Ellen and Brora. I know this got a bit off track, but thanks for hanging in there and thanks for reading.
Till next time, cheers!