This particular expressions of Laphroaig has been discussed quite a lot on social media (see my previous post: The Laphroiag ‘Select’ NAS fiasco … As i noted there, although I did not like the idea of this NAS mishmash, I really wanted to try it myself and see how I like it, and how true were the lukewarm reviews it had gotten last week. I really set out to taste it with an open mind (although I assume i might be a little biased even though I wanted to be 100% objective, but this is real life), and really wanted to enjoy it, and not just to bitch how bad it is etc.
Nose: starts peaty but very restrained. That’s not as feisty as we’re used to from Laphroaig. Getting lots of vanilla and some banana. Sweet but very restrained (again i know). Almost flat. For some Whiskies I’d say this is ok. But for a Laphroaig. It’s too timid.
Palate: A Sweet start with a peaty yet watered down feeling to it. Leather. Sweet smoked remains of a bonfire with roasted game. Very faint and way too sweet. Hint of banana bread cooked in smoke.
Finish: Mint. Cinnamon. Sweet vanilla and faint wood smoke.
Is this a Laphraoig? is this “The World’s most richly flavoured Scotch Whisky” (a quote from Laphraoig bottles), It sure is not. This is a weird animal indeed: Too sweet. Too light. Too flat to the level it feels very watered down, maybe a half n’ half (where the other half is water). A very un Laphroaig-like Laphroaig indeed. Really, I have no idea what the creators of this sad little dram were thinking, but this does not cut it. At 2 quid cheaper than the 10 year old, do yourself a favour and buy the REAL thing (that is the 10 year old, or the Quarter Cask etc). I doubt fans of Laphraoig are going to like this stuff, maybe it was intended for newbies that would find the punchy Laphraoigs too much for them. No idea.
I sure hope this was a one-off and the next new expressions will more like what we are used to getting from a Laphraoig.
Official sample provided by Laphroaig