Anyone who knows me, personally or follow me via the blog, know that Laphroaig is my favorite distillery. With Laphroaig celebrating 200 years this year I was very excited and keen to try anything new they throw at us: the re-invented 15 Year Old (which I already reviewed here), the 21 Year old (soon to be reviewed) and the ultra premium 32 Year Old.
When the 32 Year Old expression was announced, I knew it will be expensive and well beyond me and my poor wallet. After all, it’s not too common to find old age Laphroaig in sherry casks and in the age where old and premium whiskies prices are sky rocketing, it was very slim possibility. It didn’t stop me from having wild dreams where I snap out my credit card, buy a bottle and enjoy it, but of course I then woke up (and sadly without a bottle).
But I got lucky and got a sample, a gift from a friend which was delivered to me as a blind dram (No, I didn’t guessed it to be Laphroaig 32…). So what did I think of it? Should I follow my dreams and buy a bottle while ignoring the hefty price tag?
Nose: Hmm this is one complex nose with everything is meshed together. It needs a few minutes to open up and deliver recognizable notes. First there’s slow, deep and gentle peat with deep dark fruit sweetness that reminds me of first fill bourbon cask impact with some vanilla, but slowly slowly subtle sherry notes shows up, getting stronger with time. There are berries, brown sugar and it stays subtle.
Palate: The peat is much more fierce here, clearer at first but then come the ashes and the peat is becoming sticky as in felt on the upper part of the mouth. There’s the sherry sweetness, sour berries with sweet sugar, salt and a bit of leather.
Finish: Not long, gentle peat, again sticking to upper mouth, red sour-sweet berries.
Thoughts: Oh my! I’m so glad I got to try it as it’s a magnificent Laphroaig. Is it the perfect Laphroaig? I think not. Yes, It has the aged feel of peat with just the right amount of sherry impact all balanced perfectly but I daresay it’s missing some Life in it – it feels so polished and a bit lifeless, a thread of passion and a dash of emotions thrown in would bring it to the top step. And the price? Well, remember what I wrote in the beginning of the post? I do not see myself getting a bottle of it anymore. It’s good, even epic whisky but missing ingredients and the price means it will stay off my shelf. But go ahead and find somewhere to try it, a dram won’t kill you and it’s a great experience.