...just like this one! It is another excellent dram from one of the golden periods of Laphroaig (beside the sixties and seventies these are the early nineties). To make this review more comprehensible I do a head-to-head comparison to last year's edition (2017, WB id 101491). This is great stuff from the past - so if you own deep pockets get yourself a bottle and indulge into this liquid history (and dream of the Beam takeover of Laphroaig had never happened)...
The colour is deep gold and the nose offers the typical old Laphroaig profile with tons of maritime, medicinal, spicy, sugary, fruity and herbal aromas in a balanced setting. The wood is perfectly integrated exactly as the Traditional Scotch style was (this is not a "woodsky" like almost all modern Laphroaig NAS releases that were produced under the Beam management). This 2018 offers more powerful peaty (medicinal) aromas in the nose compared to the 2017 that is a little more fruity-honeyed and more complex, I like the 2017 a little better.
The taste is layered and greatly chewable. It repeats all the fine flavours of the nose plus some delicious toffee-vanilla and tobacco notes. Ooh, I forgot to mention the waxy and mineral-chalky side of this dram that perfectly fits to the sweet fruits, honeys and barley sugars. The peaty flavours are strong but do not overpower so all is in a good balance without any flaw or off-note. The 2018 is significantly more peaty on the palate than the 2017 that is more balanced and complex. But these peaty impressions are delicious and not bitter-drying at all (like so often with the modern designed stuff), again I like the 2017 a little more.
The dram arrives warming and quite peppery in the mouth and instantly coats the whole of it with a nice creamy feeling. The finish is long and adds more spicy, herbal and ashy flavours that turn it a little drying towards the end (which is not distracting at all). This is much more impressive than the 2017's finish, but it is more simple too. Some water releases additional aromas in the nose and turns the taste smoother and the finish sweeter - actually I like both the raw power of the neat dram and the dangerously quaffable reduced dram at about 45% abv. I go for a draw.