Notes from whiskyfun
Laphroaig 19 yo 1999/2019 (56.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society #29.260 ‘A visceral, elemental experience’ for Feis Ile 2019, American oak oloroso butt / Spanish oak oloroso butt, 507 bottles)
This one was re-racked from American oak sherry into Spanish oak sherry at 16 years old, an interesting type of finish I suppose. Colour: deep brownish amber. Nose: as we often note on Whiskyfun, modern peat and sherry don’t often tango well. However, there are exceptions and it seems that this is one of them. A deep, syrupy and intense mix of cola cubes, strawberry wine, black olive paste, paprika, smoked meats, herbal peat smoke and ancient tar liqueurs. If you marinated old leather-bound library books in brine and espresso you might get something like this. Also some very salty Dutch liquorice, aged cigars, Marmite and smoked prunes. Pretty fantastic I have to say. With water: cola syrup, root beer, raspberry jam, cloves, star anise, fir liqueur and smoked teas. Beautifully fragrant and complex with water. Mouth: the sherry is huge, as is the peat, but somehow they work together rather than do battle. There’s more of these deeply meaty and oily salami notes. Lots of camphor, fruity black coffee, mustard powder, tar, old rope, waxes, pot pourri, jasmine tea, sods of damp earth, old wine cellars and many old school syrupy cough medicines. Pretty great stuff. With water: as on the nose everything evens out and becomes more gentle and complex. Lots more sooty, oily and peaty qualities. Big notes of boiler smoke, tar and liquorice. Strong black tea, bitter chocolate, juniper and coal smoke. Also a hint of blueberry as well. Finish: long, deeply earthy, tarry and full of bitter herbal extracts, old ointments, medical tinctures, cured game meats, cocoa and sarsaparilla. Comments: I couldn’t tell you what the finish lent this one but something along the way, about both casks, has really worked a treat. It doesn’t feel like a finish and the richness, depth, complexity and concentration of the sherry and peat into a big, gloopy, earthy, fruity, peaty morass has just worked brilliantly.
SGP: 576 - 92 points.