...and it seems 1989/90 are very fine Laphroaig vintage years because I liked the 25-years old from 2014 (WB id 79937) and 2015 (WB id 77940) best among all 25-years old so far and scored them 93 points each. And this baby is at the same high quality level! The adorable old Laphroaig fruitiness combines with the medicinal-peatiness and the sweet barley sugars to a delicate and complex dram that is extremely quaffable. So why did they do the finish? I think this was not needed at all and the sherry is hardly to detect among the other fine aromas and flavours. So most probably they simply used some exhausted old sherry butts to vat the different casks selected for this release... and to create another little marketing gimmick (sherried whisky is hyped these days) without harming the subtle and delicate old Laphroaig profile, luckily (or intentionally?). I like this dram very much.
PS: Someone tagged "Coal-gas" but there is definitely not a single trace of sulphur in this dram, I swear!
The colour is deep copper and I use a big spheric blender's glass to nose it. Immediately the nose offers the delicate old Laphroaig amalgam of ripe fruits, sweet barley sugars and maritime peaty aromas with its characteristic medicinal touch. If there are sherry notes in here than they hide shy in the background but I do not miss them. There are oils, waxes, chalk, earthy notes and delicate herbs and spices that enrich this nose greatly. Let it breathe for at least 10-15 minutes, better more to catch them all. There is no off-note or imbalance, I could sniff this for hours. By the way, it really grows bold after more than 30 minutes in the blender's glass (covered).
The taste is truly multi-layered and greatly chewable. It offers a perfect balance of sweet-bitter-sour and smokey flavours without any flaw that I can find. First are the fruits followed by some bitter herbal and waxy notes before the barley sugars pull it back to the sweet side. But the peaty and smokey flavours join in boldly and re-establish the balance again. Later some shy sour winey notes dare to show up and the spices pep up the mixture. There are many other impressions to find in here, so take your time with this dram. But do not expect anything that comes close to today's brutal wood-driven Laphroaigs - the wood here provides a firm and appropriate backbone structure for all other flavours and never tries to dominate. Hey, this is Traditional Scotch whisky and not modern woodsky, hooray!
The initial mouthfeel is absolutely charming with both a nice warming and instantly coating effect without any distracting moments. The finish is long and fades in several slowly vanishing waves without any bitter or astringent feelings, just a minor dryness (peat smoke) takes place towards the end but this is not distracting at all. The finish adds some tasty chocolatey flavours (the sherry pops up, finally) and the peaty notes grow stronger what I like. Water is neither needed nor recommended.