I had another Laphroaig 1990 hanging around, let’s try it against the Private Stock release. This one has considerably less alcohol, not sure if it has been brought down by adding water.
Laphroaig 20 yo 1990 (47,3%, Whisky-Doris 2011, bourbon hogshead #10873, 225 btl.)
Nose: a more buttery version again, with some cake and soft vanilla underneath the coastal / medicinal notes. Even a farmy edge that I didn’t find in the other releases. Nice. But mind you, differences are subtle.
Mouth: a tad softer due to the lesser strength. Briny, with sweet peat and smoked fish. Almonds. Definitely rounder and sweeter than the Private Stock. A hint of cocoa.
Finish: long, smoky and salty with a marzipan coating.
All these 1990’s are similar and it will be down to your personaly preference if you were to pick a favourite. Personally I like a little sweetness to counter the coastal austerity. This one has a perfect drinking strength of course, so no need to fiddle with water. Around € 110 – now sold out.
ps/ All these similar Laphroaigs, whether they are 1990 or 1998 or 2000, are getting a little boring. Laphroaig is one of these distilleries with a high quality in general combined with a very small deviation.
I wonder if it’s a good thing for independent bottler to release so many nearly identical casks at the same time? Personally I haven’t bought any of them, simply because I never get the feeling of a unique opportunity. If I’d wish to buy one tomorrow, I think I wouldn’t have difficulty finding similar quality again.