Dear friends and followers!
Before the summer, I was very lucky to receive a small package from the very nice people at Edrington here in Sweden. I opened it and to my great joy and excitement the package seemed to contain a leather-bound book of some sort!
I opened the book and this is what first met my eyes
I turned the first page and this is what I found
Yes! A miniature sample of the new Laphroaig Lore
Now, as you all might understand, the word “Lore” kind of draws on something like folk-lore. And in this case the “folk” is meant to stand for the “folk” of Laphroaig, more specifically Distillery Managers of Laphroaig in past and recent times passing on “the Laphroaig traditions and his personal knowledge to the next, ensuring that the unique skills and process of this historic distillery can be found in every bottle” (laphroaig.com)
So the concept or idea behind Laphroaig Lore is the following: “Since 1815, each Laphroaig Distillery Manager has been the custodian of the craft to make the richest single malt in the world. Over the years, each has passed on their skills and traditions to the next generation to continue this legacy. To honour this passing of knowledge, our Distillery Manager John Campbell has created Laphroaig Lore, the richest ever Laphroaig. Lore, meaning the passing of a skill or tradition through word of mouth, is the story of how we make Laphroaig, encapsulating the craft passed down from generation to generation over two centuries” (laphroaig.com).
Ok folks, that might be just enough background info, right? Moving on, Lore does not have an age statement, and even though one can find out at least some details regarding what casks have been used for maturation via laphroaig.com it’s all a bit “messy”… Luckily, my fellow blogger colleagues over at Whiskytower were lucky enough to be able to get an interview with the current manager/master distiller of Laphroaig, John Campbell, and this is what John shared on the topic of age and casks used for Lore:
“4 main flavours were created in Lore. We are looking to show what makes Laphroaig richer than all other whisky’s and the main characteristics we have already discussed. So we want peaty, fruity, floral and dry so I have added 6 different whiskys together to create this recipe. For Fruity I used 21 year old bourbons and 10 year old fully matured oloroso hogshead liquids, for Peaty I used 8 year old first fill bourbons (my favourite age of Laphroaig), for floral I used 8 year old Bourbons double matured into virgin European oak for 3 years and for the dry I used Laphroaig new spirit fully matured in quarter casks for 9 years (soo dry!!) and last liquid is a 15 year old liquid to add cask oils for depth of flavour” (link to the interview)
So, now we know! Here in Sweden, Laphroaig Lore is released tomorrow (2nd of September 2016), and you can check it out here
Ok, let’s see what’s on the nose:
Well, unmistakably Laphroaig! Reminds me very much of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, the Lore sort
of has that big fat, and robust peaty-ness and oaky-ness that the QC has, but not just as much… I’d say that in total the Lore is more on ashes, burned seaweed/ burnt out fire on the beach, and also another kind of sweetness than the QC (from what I remember in my head that is…). The sweetness sort of draws on sherry-sweetness but also something like vanilla and coconut milk/Rhum (just a tad). I also get just a peedie hint of brown (raw) sugar and sniffing an emptied bourbon cask.
Ok, let’s see what I pick up on the mouth:
Wow/Ouch! Very, very peaty indeed! And quite sweet, but just for a peedie bit, a second or so, cause after that it moves very quickly into the burned ashes, burned seaweed, cool! I’ve never felt any Laphroaig move into that specific flavour-phase so fast, this is a really interesting experience! What’s even more interesting is that one can really feel that John has used many very different expressions of Laphroaig in the mixture, in terms of complexity. One example of this, as I get it, is that beneath the ashes and the seaweed, I find the sherry sweetness (in this case dark raisins) and the burning power from what I assume can not be anything else then the use of the 9yo fully matured in quarter casks. So when I have the whisky in my mouth it really starts to “burn”, and when I’ve swallowed it first turns into soft vanilla for just a second or two and then it burns and evolves in this burning way more and more. The aftertaste goes on for about a minute and a half and leaves my mouth with first and foremost dryness, and then vanilla-sweetness…
If you haven’t tried the Lore, don’t miss it! It’s a great experience to be had by all hard core Laphroaig fans out there!
A big thanks to the nice people at Edrington for giving the opportunity to try Laphroaig Lore before the release here in Sweden! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by going here, and my twitter-page by going here.
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