The Laphroiag ‘Select’ NAS fiasco – My take
There has been quite a stir on social media, mainly on Facebook (I know, REAL life is not happening ON Facebook), regarding the latest offering from Laphroaig, especially after Serge posted the following : “Gents and lasses, who could already try Laphroaig Select?” ,and “I’m asking because I’ve tried it. Couldn’t believe my nose and palate. Have it at 72/100 just know and I think I’m being generous. A very sad ‘expression’. – later that day he published his notes on the blog giving it a 70/100 mark and calling it “a poor little thing”.
It’s not everyday that Serge doubts his nose, and this led to a flurry of comments and discussions.
Going back a day or so, I can’t say i knew it was to be bad, but the weird description and what i read between the lines of the PR sent to friends of Laphraoig made me tweet a rant about not being excited for yet another NAS released by Laphraoig. Other tweets asking if anyone had it were answered later that day by Billy (of the TWE,and a good whisky friend) who tried it that day, and was not a fan.
It seems the “Select” is not a good bottling of Laphroaig and is following quite a few releases of young under par NAS whiskies from several distilleries. As a whisky fan I feel that by releasing those mediocre , young and “Marketing & Sales focused drams” as I like to call them, distilleries are really saying to us “We don’t care. we can bottle bad NAS whisky, since you’re going to be buying it anyways..”.
I sure hope the bad reviews, and the sheer bad PR Laphraoig is getting these days after releasing that sad bottling are going to put off other distilleries that have similar drams in the pipeline. We as whisky geeks and lovers, should not fear to say “These are not good whiskies”, and that we have come to expect better stuff from First class distilleries such as Laphraoig and others.
Simply mixing all kind of weird cask types, some old and some young whiskies, then putting it into Virgin oak does not cut it. simple not.
let us hope this bad example will indeed make the decision makers in the Whisky Industry think twice before agreeing to release such expressions to the market in the future. I know most people do not read whisky blogs, or serge’s blog and Facebook and just buy whisky in shops, but I do feel that strong bad sentiments on SM are likely to penetrate and arrive at even less ‘connected’ whisky consumers who buy whisky upon word of mouth etc.