I’ve been wary of Laphroaig Lore. In fact, I was a bit dreading to taste and review it as it’s the official replacement for Laphroaig 18 which I dearly love. I admit I was angry at Laphroaig’s decision to drop the 18 year old and bring Lore instead as I hate the on going trend of replacing a good matured whisky with a NAS expression.
Usually we don’t know much about the composition of NAS whiskies but John Campbell, the manager of Laphroaig distillery, told the world that Laphroaig Lore is a vatting of casks aged 7 up to 21 year old. But since vatting can change for future batches, I assume they went the NAS route and also because a 7 years old label doesn’t cut it for a whisky replacing a 18 year old expression ah?
So let’s go ahead and check if Lore is indeed ‘The richest of the rich’ and is a worthy replacement for the 18 year old.
Nose: Soft yet heavy peat smoke on the front, just right behind it are sweet red dried and fresh red fruit, mainly berries and with a heavy dose of raspberries, and honey and vanilla in between. It’s a rich nose with a dry edge. Smoke is getting sharper over time but still stays on the soft side but the sherry sweetness also becomes richer.
Palate: Sweet peat with bitter and acrid note, malt, the sweetness subsides and the peat smoke get stronger along with ashes, sour berries and honey. Towards the end it’s getting a bit acrid with oak spices and cured meat.
Finish: Medium long finish, acrid dryness, oak spices, lingering sweetness raspberries and BBQ meat.
Thoughts: It’s not bad for a NAS release. The older sherry casks do give us here a nice and dry sweet dried fruit tone, but other casks in this vatting gives up a bit acrid and bitter notes which for me doesn’t go hand in hand with the ‘rich’ label of this whisky. Overall, it’s a decent whisky but I still think that the 18 yo was better, taste and price wise.