Always fun tasting an older Laphroaig! That peat smoke tends to calm down and let those fruit notes come through…
Nose: Candy floss, minty mouthwash, coal tar soap, bandages, peaches and candied orange peels, all against a faint and far-away wood smoke. Antique wooden furniture, dust and polish.
Palate: Creamy, tangy peat smoke wraps more citrus notes – lime and mandarin, developing a bitter grapefruit quality. Quite chalky and mineral-rich.
Finish: Drying with ashy smoke and burnt coffee beans.
Nowhere near as fruity and summery as the 18. The sherry cask influence gives this a much more savoury edge with heavier fruit and wood notes.
All in all, it’s very elegant. The palate’s quite straightforward, but the nose is very complex with a well-aged Islay feel that conjures up images of refined living in dusty antique studies by open fireplaces.
It reminds me of Port Ellens and Caol Ilas of similar age, which I didn’t expect as they’re both light and delicate distillates compared with the darker, dirtier, punchier peaty power associated with Laphroaig.
Be tempted to get a bottle, if I could afford it!
You can buy the Laphroaig 25 Cask Strength online from a variety of UK-based retailers. I ordered my sample from WhiskySite.nl for €17.99.