There seems to be little deviation in the quality of recent Laphroaig distillation, so bottling young Laphroaig is a safe choice for an independent bottler: they sell out anyway.
The Whisky Agency has brought us some outstanding casks already, let’s check this new 11 years old ex-bourbon cask released in the Liquid Library series.
Laphroaig 11 yo 1998 (59,6%, The Whisky Agency 2010, Liquid Library, ex-bourbon)
Nose: clean Laphroaig with smoke and ashes and some antiseptic. A bit of grapefruit in the background. Some marzipan and fruit as well, but very subtle. Water works like a magic trick: it switches almost completely to engine oil and wet newspaper. Curious.
Mouth: impressive strength, very very punchy. Starts slightly bitter and zesty, then getting “wider” with some citrus sweetness and pepper. Full of ashes. With water: more gentle and a lot sweeter. Not the most complex palate, but good.
Finish: clean, smokey and slightly resinous. Hints of salted fish.
Laphroaig from this era is never deceiving, although there can be some differences in coastalness and sweetness. Still available in most stores – around € 70.