Single malt whisky - tasting notes

03 Oct 2012

Laphroaig 20yo (SMWS 29.99)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Laphroaig

SMWS Membership packNew members of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society get a membership pack which includes four minis of recent Society bottlings.

A few months ago, one of them was this 20 year-old Laphroaig matured in a sherry butt (alongside an Auchentoshan, Mortlach and Glen Ord). Only available for new members as far as I know, I don’t think it was released in the regular 70cl bottles that regular members can buy.

 

 

Laphroaig SMWS 29.99Laphroaig 20 yo (59,6%, SMWS 29.99 “Power and Scorched Earth”, sherry butt, 10 cl)

Nose: my God, that’s sticky. Full of raisins, oranges, thick honey, figs, hazelnuts… Huge tobacco notes as well, hints of leather. Isn’t this sherry, matured in a Laphroaig cask? Well no, there are indeed notes of ashes and cigarettes, and a few coastal hints, but less than any other Laphroaig, and they take some time to come out. Mouth: ah, here it is. More peat and smoke now, some medicinal notes, a few hints of rubber as well, I’m afraid. Fairly fruity, plenty of raisins, before fading on nothing but ashes and tobacco. Finish: long, smoky, with a winy edge and some oak.

That’s strange, a Laphroaig being overpowered by a fireworks of sherry. The typical aromas get blocked out – only on the palate does it fight back with plenty of ashes and smoke. It’s like a beginner’s attempt at getting the balance between sherry and peat right, add as much as you can of both and see what happens.

Score: 82/100

Laphroaig 20yo (SMWS 29.99) 3 Ruben Luyten 2012-10-03

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  • Tony: I wonder if the rest of the cask is the TWE 1981 just released with no cask number (and a similar though not identical strength)...
  • john marrinan: That is true, but to all intents and purposes a score of 87 is the same as a score of 90. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the maniacs scored it the
  • WhiskyNotes: It's not so much a matter of trusting a score as it is a matter of being able to relate to it.

Coming up

  • Langatun Old Bear 2009 peated
  • Miltonduff 2005 (DT #837112)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Liquid Art)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Whisky Mercenary)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Maltbarn)
  • Laphroaig An Cuan Mor
  • Fettercairn 1990 (Liquid Library)
  • Yamazaki 12 Year Old
  • Tomatin 1997 (Liquid Library)

1734 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.