I first had this dram at a blind tasting at Maltstock, held by Billy from TWE, and I might say that it was one of the highlights of Maltstock for me, such a great dram (I did not guess right, but I had a few other good guesses in that tasting..). This bottling is said to be selected by Sukhinder Singh, Owner of the Whisky Exchange, and this was sold at the Whisky show, as well on the site I am told (sold out, do not bother). At any rate, this is a 20 yo cask strength PX sherry cask, that sold for £199.
Nose: This is some Big sherry monster Laphroaig! There’s a lot, but i mean A LOT of sherry influence: starting with a lot of red fruit – think berries, cherries in syrup, raisin in rum and overripe oranges, with a nice smoky / earthy and tarry backbone which shouts “ISLAY”,there’s also a sour note which balances the sweetness nicely. Boom!
Palate: Sherry 101, with the compulsory sultanas, dates and the occasional dried fig, more tar, soot, and sea salt, as well as an earthy peat, and some wood smoke, maybe tobacco leaves, and espresso, that goes well with the orange and pepper.
Finish: Long, with dark 70% chocolate, sweet wood smoke, cherries and peat embers.
Conclusion: This is a massively sherried Laphroaig. It’s not as medicinal as some Laphroaigs it has got that tarry, salty backbone, and the dried / red fruit on the nose and palate with the chocolate and tobacco leaves are just lovely. A worthy “Masterpiece” indeed.
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