Laphroaig Select


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.