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The new Laphroaig Select – impressions

2 June 2014 Written by:

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.

Laphroaig Select , 40% abv, £34 laphroaig_select_mit_gp_700ml

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.

Bottom line:

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.

Score: 72/100

Official sample provided by Laphroaig


  • Yori Costa said:

    Do you think if it was bottled at 46% it would be better? In other words – is the main issue the “watered down” or the “mishmash”?

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:

    watered down flavours. dont think 46% would save it. it’s a shadow of a laphroaig. also the sweetness. a tad too much. a weird vatting to say the least or in other words : taking left over casks and mixing it in new oak will not transform it to good malt. it’s not magic!

  • Frank said:

    I guess “Select” means they select all the weak casks, mix them, advertise them, in order to maintain the quality of the standard bottlings like 10 Years Old.

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