We’re back with another group review!
The Laphroaig Select is a new entry level bottling from Laphroaig, and is a combination of malt aged in Oloroso sherry butts, virgin American white oak, PX seasoned hogsheads, Quarter Casks and first fill ex-bourbon casks. Laphroaig made 6 combinations and sent them to some Friends of Laphroaig, allowing them to choose the blend that would go into this new bottling.
We’ve all seen many distilleries start to replace long beloved age stated offerings with inferior NAS bottlings, which tempered our expectations for this whisky. That said, Laphroaig has had the NAS Quarter Cask available for a very long time and it is a perennial favourite, so we had some hope.
We received this bottle from Laphroaig via their representatives in Canada, so we could participate in their “Opinions Welcome” campaign. As always, receiving the bottles doesn’t impact our scoring or opinions on a whisky, and we tell this to them before accepting samples and bottles!
Here are the aggregated thoughts, common tasting notes and scores we gave this bottle:
Laphroaig Select – 40% ABV
- NOSE: peat, rubber, mesquite, smoke, salt/brine, ash, oak, red fruit
- PALATE: smoke, earth, light peat, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, rubber, medicinal, black tea, honey, salt, syrup, wine-like fruitiness, spices. fairly thin bodied.
- FINISH: Ash, smoke, anise, lime, pepper, spices, peat, smoked meat, tobacco, salt. Moderate length.
- MAX SCORE: 85
- MIN SCORE: 72
- AVERAGE SCORE: 80
Our overall feeling on this was that it is a solid entry level peated dram that would have benefited from a higher ABV than the minimum, as it lacked the punch of the Quarter Cask and 10yr old. The other comment was that the pricing on it is out of line with what it is, being only marginally cheaper than Laphroaig Quarter Cask. If priced at $55-60 at the LCBO, it would be on the value curve one expects from an entry level expression. Overall though, it did exceed expectations on taste and overall quality!