...the 2017 edition of a classical Laphroaig that I bought for 267 Euro recently. While I did not like any of the modern NAS Laphroaig editions that are extremely wood-driven with sometimes rather immature or flawed spirits (by the way, I do not call them whisky anymore but "woodsky") - I really adore the old style distillate-driven Laphroaig that seems to be gone forever since the Beam management took over the control of this fine distillery. This edition is an excellent example of how great Laphroaig was, once ago. It is a truly complex, greatly balanced and very, very quaffable dram that is worth even today's very high prices. Get your hands on a bottle of this fine stuff if you like this old Laphy style (and you can afford it) - because this Laphroaig profile will be gone forever in about ten years from now, sadly...
The colour is yellow gold and the nose offers an almost perfectly balanced profile of maritime peaty, fruity, barley sugary, spicy and herbal aromas with not a single off-note. The wood is just about right to provide an appropriate backbone for the distillate's flavours but it never dominates. After some breathing more peaty aromas pop up that are very delicious in combination with the sweet fruity and sugary flavours.
The taste is multi-layered and shows Laphroaig at its best - first there is an overwhelming sweetness of ripe fruits and barley sugars that immediately is countered by an attack of dry peaty flavours (cold smoke, medicinal notes). Later spices and herbs enter the stage together with tobacco and tea leafes. There is much more to detect in this truly complex profile so take your time and chew this dram as long as you can withstand the temptation to swallow it. Water turns both the nose and taste smoother and hence even more quaffable - but nevertheless I like the neat dram best.
The initial mouthfeel is charming and warming and coats the whole of the mouth with just a minor drying moment (tannins). The finish is long and adds more smokey flavours (bonfire, tobacco smoke) that are tasty in this setting. There is a drying-astringent feeling towards the end of the finish but this just drives you to serve your taste buds the next dram (which is very dangerous for your bank account, indeed!).