Many Thompson Brothers releases seem to pass by in such an unnoticed way that I often pick up a sample and wonder whether it is sold out already or still about to be released. In my glass today is their latest Islay Single Malt, a 1990 vintage from a refill barrel.
Islay Single Malt 30 yo 1990 (48,8%, Thompson Brothers 2021, refill American oak barrel, 273 btl.)
Nose: dusty canvas, hints of clay and grassy notes. Also a bright sourness, a mix of lemon juice, gooseberries and rhubarb. Maybe a hint of unripe pineapple after a while. Some beach pebbles. Very mellow, thin smoke here.
Mouth: more smoke now, rather sooty but still quite refined. Plenty of lemony notes again, both fresh juice and zesty notes. Lemongrass and peaches. Tarry roads. Some greasy wax, seawater and sweet mustard, before a rounder, warmer fruitiness comes to the fore.
Finish: long, on peppery notes, light medicinal touches and warming peat.
This may well be Laphroaig like the 1993 we had the other day. It’s similar to some official 25+ year old expressions, but slightly below these in terms of fruitiness and complexity. Yet this is still an excellent treat and certainly more affordable. Sold out in the online store, I believe, but it may still pop up at retailers like TWE.