Whisky Review: Laphroaig 21 Year Old (200th Anniversary FoL bottling)

As I promised earlier this month in the Laphroaig 32 year old review, here’s the Laphroaig 21 Year Old review. The Laphroaig 21 is a Friends of Laphroaig (FoL) exclusive, that was distilled during 1993 and bottled earlier this year after spending all this time in 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrels.

This combination means we can expect a matured (and perhaps a bit muted) peat profile with huge fruity side.

Laphroaig 21 (48.4%, 350 ml, £99 for FoL members)

laphroaig 21 FoLNose: Oh it’s indeed very sweet. whiff of vanilla and honey at first with some lemon. There’s sweet peat smoke with hints of medical notes. Slowly the first wave recedes a bit and we’re exposed to some fruity notes. Peaches, citrus (oranges and lime), pineapples, mango, quite tropical. Sweet smoke with a briny edge, a very rich nose.

Palate: Starts sweet and smokey, tar, yet it’s slick and smooth, fruity with lime, oranges, tropical with pineapples, smoke cuts through, cured meat, BBQ, sweet but of the fruity kind (not vanilla), ashes.

Finish: Medium short finish. Fruity sweetness plays with sweet gentle smoke and ashes, sweetness and maritime notes lingers.

Thoughts: It’s a Laphroaig of the uber-fruity kind, which we don’t get to see that often. It’s balanced, matured and smooth as the 1st fill casks and the age (21yo) balances the heavy peat. In fact I was a bit surprised there’s so much peat – more than I expected. Comparing this one to the 15yo – I think this one works much better. The Laphroaig 21 yo carries a hefty price tag (£200 for a 700 ml), so I’m glad Laphroaig went for half a bottle size here to keep the price tag within reach of a larger crowd of whisky lovers. It is definitely worth a purchase if you like fruity peated whiskies (or if you’re a general Laphroaig fan).

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