Friends and followers alike, it’s time for something really special! A cask sample of Laphroaig! The weekend before last I did the Gothenburg Beer and Whisky festival, working for Edrington in their booth and mainly taking care of Laphroaig and Connemara. It is an honour to work with such great people as the Edrington crew! When the festival started to move towards the end I was very lucky indeed to receive from Vicky a small bottle containing a cask sample!
The whisky in the sample had been used in Vicky and Martins tasting with the creative name ’Battle of the Isles’ putting different Laphroaigs head to head with different Highland Parks. Since I was working all day long it was not possible for me to attend the tasting and so I needed some additional info on the whisky from Vicky. This is what she answered in an e-mail to me today:
”First fill Makers Mark bourbon cask - Bottled Dec 2013 - Casked 1999 [= 14years old]. The cask number reflects the number of cask filled in that year. The cask is now empty but was used for sampling out of as well as the small bottles that you have. As part of our Distiller's Ware and Water to Whisky program. The Cask was matured in a rack warehouse and was stowed on the top stow. All matured on Islay”.
As you can see in the photos, this whisky has not had a bit of filtration! Sounds very nice don’t you think?! Well let’s try it then!
The 1989 17yo for Feis Ile comes back to mind… Mmm… hard to explain, I really want to at the same time as I want to enjoy the moment! ☺ Anyway, loads of really soft vanilla in combination with an extremely soft peaty-ness. In fact I’ve never felt so soft peat in a Laphroaig before. The fantastic/interesting thing is that it is a peaty-ness that goes toward burnt wood slowly moving on into orange chocolate and in the distant we have sweet lemon curd and creme brulee. This combo of vanilla, peat/burnt wood and citrusfruit scents seem to go on forever. With my nose deep in the glass there is not a hint of too much strength/alcohol. I have to nose really deep to experience it as ”high strength”… Oooh my mouth is watering soo bad, it’s time to taste!
OMG! Very sweet, almost sugary, for the first half of a second and then BOOM! I never thought it would be that explosive! After the first quite extreme hit of salt and strong peat, it actually moves over into watermelon, grapefruit and orange zest (!) which is a first-time combo for me when it comes to whisky. It almost feels like oranges have been in the cask together with the whisky, a lá limoncello or something like that… ☺ Incredible… There is also some kind om mint, there’s definitely cacao. Everything, a part from the first hit, is veeery smooth and intertwined. Then slowly or gradually getting more and more dry in my mouth, freakishly dry actually, all along the tounge and up the roof of the mouth. The aftertaste sees the burnt wood from the nose coming back, then becoming more and more faint, some touches of ”sweet” ashes (whatever that might taste like) and slowly closing off on leather and vanilla sweetness… Absolutely beautiful!
Thank you Vicky! I’m so grateful for this sample, It will last a long time… Or will it?! ☺