Laphroaig Select

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Review 74 – Laphroaig Select


Sample provided by Laphroaig to the Toronto Whisky Society, for their #OpinionsWelcome program.

This following review will remain unbiased as per usual.

Thank you Laphroaig for providing the dram.


Region: Islay
ABV: 40%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hogshead, Quarter casks and First fill bourbon casks.

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Preserved tangerine peel, brine, red fruits undertone, wood smoke, oolong tea, vanilla, faint spice.

Palate: Water, ginseng, tar, rubber, earthy peat, saline, lapsang souchong, spice.

Finish: Medium finish, pepper, lime, anise, earthy, newspaper.

Score: 74/100


The nose started off rather promisingly, after sitting the dram for 15 minutes, black tea, preserved tangerine peel, the usual brine and smoke, with a touch of red fruits and spice; the nose is rather mild, tamed compared to the previous Laphroaig offerings. Still, off to a good start.

Onto the palate, watery is perhaps the best description. Greeted by rubbery, tar notes, ginseng and black tea is present too, touch of saltiness, followed by a touch of spice, earthy, and herbal finish. Overall the tasting experience is rather disappointing, poor to be concise, I would’ve guessed someone watered this down to 20-30% ABV if it was a blind tasting.

Having tried the majority of their core expression previously, from their standard 10 year, quarter casks, to their 15 200th Anniversary, Lore, and now discontinued 18, and a quite a few others including some IBs and travel retail, now presented with this – The Select.

I am fairly sure the Select is aimed towards getting new customers in, a 40%, mild expression. But to me, especially the price they are charging in Ontario ($78.20CAD for the Select, $85.20CAD for the Quarter cask, $86.20CAD for the 10 Year 43%) This product makes no sense to me, part from offloading poor casks to a cheaper expression. I would take the Quarter cask or the 10 over this any day any year. This would perhaps damage their brand more than helping.

Bottom line: Laphroaig if you are listening, stop over complicating your lineup, focus on what you do best, stop releasing gimmicky whisky.

Look at Macallan with their Edition No.1/2, even them realize, it’s not hard to make a quality whisky. Dial up the proof back to 48% ABV, quality casks, and charge us more according to the proof jump, verses watering it down and hope to sell more. I believe most enthusiasts would rather pay a few bucks more, than to have a watery dram. Laphroaig is a love or hate experience, why not treat the ones who loves you, better?

Thanks for reading prolong review and rant.

Side note: Please get the LCBO to carry the 10 CS.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC: 01

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Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC: 01


Region: Islay
ABV: 57.8%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: French oak [Quercus robur], ex-Cognac.

 

Colour: Amber-Gold

Nose: White grape, smoke, brine, seaweed, tangerine, cured meat, apricot, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, pear.

Palate: Ash, salt, syrupy, pepper, seaweed, mineral, orange peel, grape, smoke, ginger.

Finish: Medium+ finish, pepper, mineral, salt, citrus peel, black tea.

Score: 87/100


The nose and palate is very grape-y, which shows the cask influence quite a bit. Sweet and smoke in harmony, nice seaside notes, with a good kick of spice. Overall rather well made, I am glad I picked up a bottle, cask strength, youthful, interesting cask Port Charlotte always up my alley. Priced very reasonably, I think I paid about $100US for it.

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength for KWM Bottled 2016)

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Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength for KWM Bottled 2016)


Region: Islay

ABV: 57.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill sherry hogshead 306200

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Rum-like aroma, caramel, menthol, smoke, raisin, cream corn, sherry spice, cherry, tea.

Palate: Ash, oak, dried apricot, orange, smoke, salt, spice.

Finish: Long finish, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, smoke.

Score: 88/100


Another youthful refill sherry cask Caol Ila from G&M, this one is significantly darker than the 2004 one that I own, assuming 2nd fill? Rather interesting rum-like aroma, loads of sherry spice and caramel on the nose, the peat is less aggressive than I expect for a 10 year old. A well rounded palate, full of dried fruits, oranges, salt, spices; followed by a long and spicy finish, very nice.

Bowmore Vault Edition First Release – Atlantic Sea Salt

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Bowmore Vault Edition First Release – Atlantic Sea Salt


“The Vault Editions from Bowmore is a four-part series of whiskies that highlight one characteristic of the distillery’s style. The first release is named Atlantic Sea Salt and focuses on Bowmore’s maritime style, while displaying its classic smoky and fruity nature.”

Region: Islay
ABV: 51.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No

Colour: Straw

Nose: Vanilla, cherry, cotton candy, earthy peat, wood smoke, brine, tissue paper, crystallised honey, hint of citrus peel.

Palate: Vanilla, cherry, apple, pear, sweet malt biscuit, salt, earthy.

Finish: Medium+ finish, sweet peat, salted caramel.

Score: 85/100


 

Bowmore apparently is discontinuing (or already discontinued?) their age-stated Tempest and Laimrig release. This is their follow up, not as salty as the name would suggest but rather well balanced, with nice complexity and very oily and smooth on the palate. On the sweet side, with loads of vanilla and fruits, can tell lots of first-fill bourbon cask used here. Rather pleasant, but I prefer the Laimrig 15 over this.

Whisky Review – Bunnahabhain 12

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Bunnahabhain 12 [Link]

Region: Islay

ABV: 46.8%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter Neat with some water

Colour: Copper/Honey

Nose: Creamy rounded sweetness, sherry, honey, some unknown notes(maybe is what people call brine? I have no idea what brine smells like), cooked apples, really really faint smoke, chocolate, really interesting, smooth on the nose, no pungent alcohol notes, tiny tiny hint of orange?

Palate: Umami, some nuttiness, malt, slight fruit, sherry, spice, oak, something happening on the side of my mouth I can’t describe. Nice oily mouth feel, swirls in the mouth very smoothly.
Finish: Short finish, the flavor goes away quickly (so you can drink more!), I might have added slight bit too much water?

Score: 83/100

 

Saw this on the shelf today, always wanted to try Bunnahabhain but not at the stage to shell out $180 on the 18Y, still want to buy more bottles for my money to explorer different distilleries and their offerings, this is really interesting as one of the few unpeated Islay whisky, it’s the first whisky that let me notice the coastal notes that people talks about, I like the sweetness, overall well balanced whisky at a good price, been looking for a nice summer dram, I think this will do it!