...which is another new style Laphroaig that is certainly better than last year's but still it does not charm my taste buds. Am I too old for this beautiful new whisky world or is the whisky industry on a rather questionable new path (at least parts of it)? We will see after the boom busted (and you know, there never ever was such a thing like an endless boom).
The colour is old gold and the texture shows small tears with slow legs. The nose is quite punchy and again bourbon-stylish with lots of virgin oak flavours and rather young spirit aromas. Okay, there are these peaty-medicinal flavours that you hardly find in a bourbon whisky but they are not really integrated with the other aromas (what happens often with rather young stuff - there was simply not enough time to create a balanced profile). No, that is not to my liking! By the way, where is the sherry? I guess the fino sherry casks were completely exhausted and they "rejuvenated" these casks (planing off the depleted upper wood and re-charring the cask what kills almost all flavours of the prior content, in this case the fino sherry).
The taste is unbalanced as was the nose on mostly wooden and peaty flavours. If you chew it long enough you can detect some shy fruits (banana, apricot) and herbs as well so it gets better the longer you keep it in the mouth. Water smoothes the dram and releases more sweet aromas of heather honey and barley sugars that are highly welcome to create a more balanced dram. I like it best when reduced to about 43% abv.
The whisky arrives hot and somewhat biting in the mouth with just a minor coating effect but with no distracting bitter or astringent moments, at least (that I find in a lot of other new Laphroaig releases because of the added share of virgin oak casks). That is better but still not comparable with my beloved Laphroaig mouthfeel from the nineties. The finish is long and even more peaty-medicinal than the taste. Now the hardly missed new oak moments pop up again with some bitter and astringent feelings (that I do not like).