The Laphroaig 15y is considered to be one of the most controversial bottlings in the current range of Laphroaig, and it will be replaced in a couple of weeks. The 15 year old introduced a new style of rounder, more mellow Laphroaig, but recent batches returned to a bolder style, closer to the standard 10y which itself got smoother if you compare it to batches from the 1990’s.
The Laphroaig 18y will be bottled at a higher strength of 48% alcohol (the same as the Laphroaig Quarter Cask). I’m sure this is a good thing, as it indicates Laphroaig is moving towards a more powerful, intense profile.
The price will remain more or less the same (pretty uncommon considering the 3 additional years and today’s pricing strategies).
Here’s the official tasting notes:
Nose: sweet toffee, faintly spicy, traces of delicate phenols and fruit. Overall smoothness. With water: seaweed and salt but not enough to overpower the vanilla and honey sweetness. A trace of new mown hay and peat at the finish.
Body: Exceptionally balanced and warming with intense depth. Warming smoke, smooth floral scents, oaky nuttiness. Sweetness on the taste. With water: peaty warmth with a sweet chocolate smoothness. This is balanced by rich toffee and a hint of heather and peat smoke.
Finish: Full bodied, long with a luxurious oily smoothness.
Some extra information and tasting notes by Tim at TWE blog.