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.
Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hogshead, Quarter casks and First fill bourbon casks.
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.
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.