Laphroaig

Laphroaig distillery was established in 1825 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. Laphroaig calls itself "the most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies" and possesses one of only seven active malting floors in Scotland. Peated to a high and medicinal level, Laphroaig often has a distinctive TCP and maritime flavour. The most common bottling is a 10 year old. Over recent years, age statement whiskies such as the 15 and 18 year olds have been removed from the portfolio and a range of Non Age Statement (NAS) bottlings have replaced them.


Posted 04 May 2017

Originally a travel retail exclusive, Laphroaig Brodir is matured in ex-bourbon casks and then transferred over, for an unspecified finishing period, into European oak casks which previous held ruby port. The name Brodir translates into 'Brother' from ancient Norse....so we're stepping on the brand toes of Highland Park with some viking-based etymology. 


Posted 05 December 2017

Inside door number four and it’s a 6 year old Williamson. If you’ve never heard of Williamson Distillery, fear not, it’s actually not a distillery in its own right, rather, it’s the name given to ‘tea spooned’ Laphroaig. Tea spooning is the process whereby a small amount of whisky from one distillery is added to a cask containing whisky from another. By doing so, the cask is, technically, no longer 100% one thing or another (and perhaps not even a technically a single malt anymore, but that’s a discussion for another time) and therefore has to be sold under a different, new name. Distilleries tea spoon to allow the sale of their whisky (often to independent bottlers), whilst protecting their currently traded brand names.


Posted 03 April 2018

Laphroaig 10 year old is one of the most well-known whiskies in the world – it’s also the best-selling single malt from Islay. Often described as the most flavourful of Scotch whiskies, it’s the entry-point to the Laphroaig range, but in my view, far from an entry-level whisky. It’s provenance and relative youth lead to a robust and bold character that is both highly recognisable, but also sometimes too intense for those not already enamoured by big full-bodied peaty flavours. Its character is unapologetically medicinal and inherently coastal  - the distillery itself recognises that their whisky ‘..is a complex beast’, that engenders feelings of both love and sometimes loathing. They’ve produced a variety of campaigns that capture the wide array of strong opinions about this idiosyncratic whisky.


Posted 07 May 2017

Our final tasting at the Laphroaig Warehouse 7 tasting was a combination cask, where the initial ex-bourbon was re-racked in 2013 into a quarter cask for its final 4 years of maturation.


Posted 05 April 2018

Douglas of Drumlanrig is a collection of single cask whiskies from independent bottler Hunter Laing. The bottlings are named after Drumlanrig Castle (more of an imposing stately home than what most people would think of as a castle) which is situated in the Dumfries and Galloway town of Thornhill. They are all allegedly personally approved by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury – it’s a hard job, but apparently someone has got to do it. Douglas of Drumlanrig expressions were originally exclusive to The Whisky Shop, but now you’ll see a wider variety of outlets stocking the single cask bottlings periodically.


Posted 03 April 2018

Laphroaig’s 15 year old was first introduced in the 1980’s, and quickly became a fan favourite. It was sadly discontinued in 2009. Boo. For the 200th anniversary of the distillery in 2015, a special limited re-release of the 15 year old took place – cue Laphroaig’s famously temperamental website falling over due to a clamour of demand. The bottling sold out quickly, but is still available (with a mark-up of course) in a few places and indeed regularly on auction sites.


Posted 07 May 2017

Our first tasting was from a 2002 15 year old ex-bourbon cask which Tom informed us was originally from Makers Mark


Posted 07 May 2017

Interestingly this is the same makeup as #3797 - 2002,  15 year old ex-bourbon, Maker's Mark. The similarities stop there.


Posted 04 April 2018

Laphroaig’s popular core range 15 year old was discontinued in 2009, but then reintroduced as a limited edition in 2015. At the end of 2017 the distillery brought back the 15 age-statement once more – this time as a ‘Caideas’ bottling – exclusively for ‘Friends of Laphroaig’ (effectively the distillery’s mailing list). From what I can tell, this bottling, or a bottling similar will become a permanent annual addition to the range. The Cairdeas 15 year old was distilled in 2002, matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at 43% ABV. As of writing, it’s still available via Laphroaig’s webshop for £90.


Posted 05 April 2018

Ever-reliable independent bottler Signatory are no stranger to single-cask Laphroaig’s – there are 239 currently listed on Whisky Base - the oldest being a 1966 31 year old that would certainly shift for a pretty penny nowadays. Our Signatory Laphroaig comes via The Whisky Exchange in the form of a hand-picked cask – the Exchange team always know a good whisky when they taste one.


Posted 01 February 2018

Another month, another SMWS Laphroaig. This one was distilled in November 1998 and spent 18 years maturing in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. Peated profile.


Posted 04 April 2018

Laphroaig have discontinued several of their mainstay whiskies over the past few years – the 18 year old is probably the saddest removal to my mind. The distillery’s current core range of age-statements bottlings jumps from the 10 year old (and batch produced 10 year old Cask Strength) all the way up to the 25 year old (a £400 whisky). Whilst there are four core NAS expressions (Select, QC, Triple Wood and Lore), all of these are sub-£100, and Laphroaig fans are left with no core age-statement bottlings which bridge the huge financial chasm between the 10 and the 25 year olds.


Posted 07 June 2018

Another month, another 29, but strangely, this one has been slotted into the Heavily Peated profile – as you’ll read from our tasting notes below, those usual TCP-tinged Laphroaig notes are much more understated than you’ll find in many bottlings of 29. Somewhere between Oily & Coastal and Peated would have been a more apt category perhaps – but, this bottling is tricky to pigeon hole. It has been matured for 18 years in ex-bourbon before being re-racked in a 2nd fill hogshead for a final year of maturation.


Posted 03 May 2018

What’s this? A blue coloured Laphroaig - curiouser and curiouser! This one is a little less transparent than I’d expect from the Society – it’s 20 years of age, and is stated as having been drawn from a 1st fill ex-oloroso hogshead, having ‘previously inhabited an ex-bourbon hogshead’ – but how long in each is anyone’s guess. Oily & Coastal profile.


Distilleries

Scotland (345)
Aberfeldy (5)
Aberlour (8)
Ardbeg (4)
Ardmore (2)
Arran (7)
Auchroisk (1)
Aultmore (3)
Balblair (5)
Balmenach (2)
Balvenie (9)
Ben Nevis (1)
BenRiach (3)
Benrinnes (3)
Benromach (5)
Bladnoch (3)
Bowmore (7)
Cambus (2)
Caol Ila (6)
Clynelish (4)
Dailuaine (2)
Dalmore (9)
Deanston (1)
Dufftown (1)
Glen Ord (1)
Glengoyne (4)
Glengyle (3)
Glenlivet (7)
Hazelburn (1)
Kilchoman (3)
Knockdhu (2)
Lagavulin (1)
Laphroaig (14)
Linkwood (2)
Longmorn (4)
Longrow (3)
Macallan (8)
Macduff (1)
Mortlach (4)
Oban (1)
Scapa (1)
Speyburn (3)
Talisker (3)
Tamdhu (2)
Tobermory (9)
Tomatin (7)
Tomintoul (1)
Tormore (3)
Wolfburn (2)
Canada (3)
Ireland (11)
Bushmills (4)
Midleton (5)
Japan (28)
Chichibu (6)
Chita (1)
Eigashima (1)
Hakushu (2)
Yamazaki (2)
Yoichi (2)
Taiwan (5)
King Car (5)
USA (17)
Bernheim (2)