Monday, 31 October 2016

Another pair of Laphroaigs

I reckon we can squeeze in some more pairs before November although I’ve run out of SMWS pairs – so here’s another couple of random Laphroaigs. 

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016, Madeira cask, 51.6% A+

Laphroaig-Cairdeas-Madeira-Cask-2016_Forbes-2016_01Nose - Talcum powder and pencil shavings (with their erasers), highly mineral. There is a pink hue to the whisky and label which makes me want to add cranberries to the nose but they're not really there. Unripe pear and swimming pool on the cold side, but wet oak, marmalade and the merest hint of sulphur on the warm. Slightly sexier with water. Smells smashable, let's see…

Body - Toast and toffee, charcoal and balsa wood. Jam of indeterminate fruit. Chocolate toffee.

Finish - The peat has a very short half-life but the fruit really lingers. Finally the wine cask is here, with sweet, jammy red fruits and a touch of rosemary. Better integration with water and a small amount of bandage, but I prefer the excitement it has without.

This definitely suffers from the same gentleness that most recent OB Laphroaigs have but the higher ABV and wine cask do play a part in making it a great drammer. I will very much enjoy not paying much attention to drinking my bottle of this.

Laphroaig Masterpieces, 1996, 20 years old, PX Cask, 50.6% A⊕+

This is the Laphroaig from the whisky show this year that everyone was flipping out over at maltstock.  My notes on the day just read “doesn’t have much to do with Laphroaig” and I thought if I published just that there would be fussing.  So I have signed up to a bottleshare on this one and hence, here’s some detailed notes.

lrgsdl1996v2Nose - Sherried. Really deep red berries, lacquered and highly structured. Significant digging to find peat, let alone Laphroaig, but this is beautifully PXed with candied orange, tomato consommé, cocoa powder and yoghurt covered raisins, a little like a similarly aged PX Glendronach would be. It is lush. No Laphraoig though. Water does help here, bringing some retronasal charcoal and with time and sipping, fag ends and beautifully sulphured charred oak.

Body - Quite a strange (although very compelling) development. Sweet, deep sherry first, then red wine cask, then bitter at the side of the mouth with redcurrant jelly. Christmas and pomanders. Less good with water on the delivery.

Finish - Very long and a little bitter, cocoa powder and poster paints. There is a really, really wonderful HQ cask thing in the finish, that reminds me again of drinking Glendronach. It is seriously delicious, zesty and quite bitter behind that massive sugar rush. Again, water allows some Islay to poke through the cask in the form of

A fantastic whisky that has almost nothing to do with the distillery in which it was made and almost everything to do with the world class cask in which it was matured.

1 comment:

  1. I can only agree with your assessment of the masterpieces bottling. Glad I'm not the only one who thought the same!