I’ve had quite a lot of Malts of Scotland bottlings on this blog lately, but I know people are waiting for the first independent reviews of these usually very interesting bottles, so here’s another one.
Laphroaig is generally matured in bourbon barrels from Maker’s Mark. Sherry oak is only used as a short additional finish (e.g. Laphroaig Triple Wood) or for occasional (but usually exceptional) bottlings such as the legendary 1974/2005 for La Maison du Whisky. Based on the cask reference, I guess Malts of Scotland picked their own sherry cask to mature it.
Laphroaig 10yo 1998
(55,5%, Malts of Scotland 2009, sherry cask #MoS 15, 201 btl.)
Nose: great balance between peat smoke and sherry. The result is a big, fruity dram with notes of blood oranges, coffee beans and light hints of matchsticks. Sweet liquorice. Marzipan with a chocolate coating. Some hints of tropical fruits after a bit of breathing (mango) which can usually only be found in older Laphroaig production. Faint hints of cinnamon and insence as well.
Mouth: sweet attack, again quite sherried. Fruit tea and almonds. The peat doesn’t win the fight here. A wave of salty liquorice as well. Chocolate.
Finish: more classic Laphroaig now, on tar, sweet mint and caramel coated peanuts.
A bold dram but very drinkable at cask strength. Excellent stuff, certainly at less than € 60.
Now for the bad news: although this was released very recently (2nd half of July), the German economy has been rising again and our friends bought all of these bottles within a few days. Google results will only lead to “page not found” messages… If you’re into Laphroaig and you happen to find one for sale, don’t hesitate!