A while ago when I tasted the old and new Laphroaig 15yo (see the results here) I was also bestowed by a friend (Thanks A.!) with a sample of an indie Laphroaig 15yo for scientific comparison 😉
It’s a single cask from the warehouse of A.D Rattray and it’s actually a 1998 vintage (distilled 04.11.1998) from a bourbon barrel which yielded 226 bottles after it was bottled in 2014 (24.10.2014), so it’s a bit “older” release than the recent new OB 15yo. How does it stand up against the official 15yo?
Laphroaig 1998 15yo A.D Rattray (58.4%, bourbon barrel #10479, 226 bottles, €114)
Nose: Heavy spirit (more than I’m used to with Laphroaig), rounded and creamy, (not sharp), lots of honey and vanilla, medicinal with TCP and iodine, peat of the wet and sweet variety, stale lemon peels, wet charcoals smoke, getting a bit sharper over time but still very rounded and creamy but with additional leather and green spices (cardamom and pepper), after a sip there was sweet & fragranced honey
Palate: Peat, smoke, then sweet honey and cured meat, lemon, followed by ashes. later sips also provides sweet fruits from the beginning.
Finish: Bitter oak wood, sharper with spice, peat, ashes and chimney smoke, green.
Thoughts: bottom line – It’s different from the official 15yo (doh! single cask!) and I think I tike this one better. It’s richer and rounder, it’s balanced with softer wet peat accompanied by spices and bourbon imparted flavours. Excellent choice of a cask and a cracking Laphroaig.