Laphroaig 30-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Ian Hunter Story - Book 1
Stated Age
30 years old
1st Fill American White Oak Bourbon Barrels
Number of bottles
46.7 % Vol.
700 ml
Book 1 : Unique Character
Bottle code
L9 087 SB1
Added on
23 Sep 2019 9:39 pm by Astrid

Average value

€ 1274.91

113 × in wishlist

128 × member ratings

454 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Laphroaig 30-year-old

28 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.52 points

  1. Reluktanzmotor scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Conclusion: Great first nose, in my mouth a bit too dry, but who liked the 30 YO Fettercairn of Whisky.de, will probably be fully satisfied with this. Are 700 € okay? Is that a question of morality at all? Well, everyone has to answer for themselves, I'll keep my answer for myself. The 28-year-old is somewhere else in the offer for half, the 32-year-old costs around 1000 €. So everything is fine? Who knows. As advertised, the part is definitely a collector's item, even from the book packaging. And he is the beginning of an entire encyclopedia. From a (long term) investor view a must have, I would say.
    For the rest, the data for the distillation year 1987 and the filling year 2019 are surprising. 30 years? Where did the distillate spend the difference period of at least 12 months? In a steel tank?
    • Nose
      92 92
      Islay? Laphroaig? Smoke? Hospital? Not in life. If I did not know better, I would have assigned the 70s Mancarellas. What a tropical basket of fruit. The whole bouquet of light, juicy, mushy fall fruit. Papaya, passion fruit, lychee, peach compote and light grapes. Where the hell is the phenolic smoke? Where is the disinfectant going? To the fruits comes an oily butteriness, caramel sweets, some orange and lemon. Zero alcohol noticeable. The smoke has completely disassembled, since the 30 years in the barrel have done a full job. A great thing, one of the most beautiful noses in 2019.

      Addendum: Now that the glass is dry, the Laphi finally comes to light. Subtle, without crowbar, very pleasant. The bouquet will probably last a few hours in the glass. Very nice to sniff.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Oh, very different from the sweet nose. Immediately the oak is there, the sweetness is only very distantly noticeable in the background. When re-tasting a little cold ash comes to light, wonderfully discreet. No smokeless notes tastable. The tip of the tongue feels an existing, fermented sweetness, but the basic tenor is called barrel wall. The 30 years in the wood can not deny this Laphroaig, there were the two 16er significantly sweeter. Well, that was to be expected, but because I like it fruity-sweet, he could have kept in the mouth what the nose promised.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Mild, dry, slightly ashy, very pleasant and long-lasting. The nose is now clearly deprived and no longer approaches the first fruity surprise. It has become a bit flat, for me remains mainly the butteriness in the smell. However, the used Whisky.de glass is not exactly my favorite, my old, broken Unknown Nosing glass would have probably made a lot more out of this whisky.

  2. Archer scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Unfortunately nice.
    One should not be surprised here that it comes out practically smoke-free, which is not a rare phenomenon with L28-bottlings from Laphroaig. Almost smoked. But then he comes up with a fruitiness and depth that is second to none.
    • Nose
      94 94
      He has a mild and soft face in the nose, no comparison to the younger brothers, who fly chips with their planes (phenol, antiseptics, seaweed, tar). Not so here, with sweet tropical fruits on the verge of ripening: mango, papaya, banana makes a very solid impression. There is practically no smoke left, but lots of sweet vanilla, honey, and sometimes warm apricot compote. Everything is very subtle, but with a depth that gives you the certainty of a long maturity without having to squint on the label again. No smoke, no seaweed, no tar - like its peers from older times, it is almost completely detached from the characteristics of the distillery.
    • Taste
      94 94
      Legendarily soft and creamy start. Good heavens. Tropical fruits like in a very old teeling: papaya, mango, passion fruit, banana, guava. Hardly dry, hardly any old wood, but still doesn't look young or youthful, but it feels too thick, too firm on the tongue. Great creamy mouthfeel. These fruits, a poem. Light chocolate, creme brulee, nutmeg, allspice. The aromas develop slowly, but after a while fill the entire mouth and settle there. Long.
    • Finish
      93 93
      Long and now with a certain woody dryness combined with a trace of smoke. Mildly spicy. The tropical fruits fade away slowly. Nougat, roasted coffee beans, grilled orange slices.

  3. Caoldronach scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    To be honest, - for the sipping connoisseur - this is by far not worth 700 Euros (compared to other Islay malts at much lower prices). For the collector, yes, this may be worth 700 Euros as the prices may double (but they will not rise to more than doubling, but this is only my very humble estimation, I may be wrong).
    But taste-wise, 700 Euros are not at all reasonable as there are so many better Islay whiskies around for 200 Euros, yes, even for 100 Euros.

    I tasted the Laphroaig 30 y/o ‘The Ian Hunter Story’ serveral times (at different days as the daily personal tasting condition may change) and have compared it with old (bottled in the 1980ies) and new Laphroaigs, moreover also with Ardbegs (Supernova, Traigh Bhan, Ten, Corryvreckan) and Caol Ila and Lagavulin.
    Its nose is fruity and nice but evaporates fast. So it is good to put a cap onto your glass right after nosing or sipping, so that the aroma does not volatilize but is collected for the next nosing.
    The taste is complex and kind of “edged”, i.e. I want to express “not smooth”. It very much lacks the typical phenolic side of Laphroaig. I would not say, it is not there at all but its presence is very weak if compared to many other Laphroaigs.
    Due to this, my impression is that this Laphroaig resembles much more an Ardbeg than a Laphroaig. Because, don’t get me wrong, the peat is quite present, only the special phenolic side - for which Laphroaig is so well known – is quite weak.

    Back to the tasting notes. It starts with a fruity profile. Then there are a lot of spicy notes, unfortunately accompanied by quite a pungent impression. With the spicy notes there is also a bitter taste (wooden taste, certainly from the long cask maturation).
    When I cross-tasted it with Caol Ila 25y/o and Lagavulin, the impression was much more smooth than before. Then the “edges” smoothed and the pungent impression vanished (regarding the latter, fortunately!), the fruity part was more emphasized and the overall profile was much smoother. By this, one sees that a tasting experience is not perfectly independent from impressions by other malts tasted in direct comparison.

    Finally, even with the vanished pungence, my overall verdict is not more than 87 out of 100. Still a very good dram, a good and complex (“ardbegish”) Laphroaig, but not an excellent one. I would prefer the 18 years old original Laphroaig bottling from some years ago over this 30 years old. So finally, for 100 Euros, yes, it would be a good whisky. But in relation to 700 Euros? No, this does not match. OK, but this again only IMHO, my 2 cents … ;-)

  4. gossm01 scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      95 95
      Citrus, subtle peat smoke, pleasant vanilla, oak
    • Taste
      96 96
      Vanilla, honey sweetness, subtly earthy, creamy
    • Finish
      90 90
      Medium length, pleasantly mild

  5. PEATYBOI scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    I usually do not like giving much thought to the price of a bottle when reviewing. However, if you were to ask me if this is worth over 700GBP, the answer would be a resounding no. By the way, my favourite distillery is Laphroaig.

    On the nose, hints of mango, coconut and white fruits (pear and apples). Vanilla and oak sweetness is also present. However, the classic notes of peat, iodine and medicinal have been dialed down to a minimal.

    The palate matches the nose (which isn't exactly good news). Some sweet ripe fruits in the foreground. Notes of old furniture also sweeps into the foreground...what is happening? There are still glimpses of seaweed and umami in this, but the dominant profile stands to be tropical fruits (as are many aged Leapfrogs). Also some peat smoke (albeit minimal). Nonetheless, the profiles are delivered half heartedly. Maybe some exhausted casks are involved?

    The finish is medium and flat with notes of slight smoke and white fruits.

    There is more marketing than whisky in the bottle. Not quite sure what the nice box is suppose to do for me. Just do your thing and release good Leapfrogs. I don't care about how nice the box will look on my shelf Beam Suntory!

  6. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    First of all I notice that there really doesn't seem to be any smoke at all. With an intensive sniff, a fine hint of ash, nothing more.
    Instead, this laphi is ultra-fruity: mango, papaya, guava, lychee, passion fruit, passion fruit, pithaya. Warm applesauce and pear compote with cinnamon and vanilla sugar. A little freshly grated nutmeg.

    This great fruitiness continues in the mouth, supported by a very oily mouthfeel, it runs almost like condensed milk on the tongue. With a little time in the mouth, it becomes a little dry and woody, but only slightly.

    Very long, here with a clearly dry and bitter note. Baked cocoa and a little ash are added to the weakening fruit


    A really nice fruity malt, with a strong aroma load and a really exciting nose. Looks quite "fresh" for thirty years because wood notes tend to play the second, if not just the third, violin.

  7. Kensay scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    A stunning nose, very unusual for an island whisky, layered and not at all typical Laphroaig. But further - disappointment, as if you are drinking a medium-hand release. but not at all a top release. Maybe something is wrong with my taste and understanding of whisky, but so far this release has confirmed my impressions that the most delicious Laphroaig is 10-15 years
    • Nose
      92 92
      Light marine tones and smoke are distinct in the first nose. But then they give way to ripe exotic fruits in lemon juice. Very delicate and pleasantly enveloping whisky. Bananas, mangoes, some honey wax and attic dust. Surprisingly, the longer the whisky is in the glass, the harder it is to find something island there. More like an aged whisky from Speyside or the best Ben Nevis 1996 releases. Pollen, intense, on the verge of perfumery. Coriander, strong green tea with lemon
    • Taste
      89 89
      black pepper in lemon zest, a drop of oil, woody dryness and acidity. After such an amazing nose, this is a complete failure
    • Finish
      88 88
      Dry, lemon, some charcoal and pepper

  8. Stef89 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    A top class Laphroaig. Almost no smoke and still everything a Laphroaig needs. I'm excited. Is the bottle worth the price? I don't even ask this question. This price range is far beyond what is reasonable for me. But if you want to afford something like that, you can't go wrong with this bottling.

    What amazes me most is how strong and full this malt is even after 30 years. Yes: filigree in the overall composition. Yes: complex and balanced. No: not light and a little weak but full and engaging.
    • Nose
      94 94
      I have the typical Laphroaig flavors here. The smoke itself has largely disappeared. Among the medical, iodine notes, I have incredibly rich and ripe tropical fruits. Mango, papaya and a strong distinctive honeydew melon are included.
      Salty and sweet alternating. A strong honey tone lies at the bottom of the glass. The yellow fruits wash around everything.
      The nose is also surprisingly strong and not at all "decrepit". The word complex is really worth it here.
      I attribute the slight alcohol bite to the high temperatures that are currently prevailing.
      An absolute dream of a nose. I haven't had a better one with smokers
    • Taste
      91 91
      In the mouth it then has an astonishingly powerful start without even showing the hint of alcohol. Full, voluminous, mouth-filling. Just great. Again, there is hardly any smoke, if at all, although the typical medicine with hospital corridor and disinfectant is still surprisingly clear. The yellow fruits take a back seat. If they are still there at all, then a bit overripe and fermented. For me it is a slight mistake. But I am also extremely sensitive to fermented fruit. Mainly you have the honey again and actually something of sweet barley malt. If you take it for a long time, barley malt turns from grainy to sweet. That's exactly what I have here.
      Many wishes are not left open here.
    • Finish
      89 89
      The finish is incredibly tasty. Here the yellow fruits come through again without bringing this fermented note with them. So fully ripe and fruity. But I would have liked these impressions to last longer. Here some menthol and alcohol come to the fore. They carry the finish somewhat, but push this great fruit into the background. At the end there is the freshly polished hospital corridor and a eucalyptus candy ... the next sip, please.

  9. Dom2910 scored this whisky 96 points Expert Junior

    If you are looking for smoke here, you will definitely be disappointed, because you will not find it in the glass for at least the first 30 minutes. You get concentrated Laphroaig fruit power: from oranges, papaya, mango to sweet, long-ripened pineapple to banana and nectarines. Vanilla, methony and fine tobacco notes complete the whole. But after a while you notice a hint of smoke. A slightly phenolic note spreads from the background. Exciting! A beautiful composition of baked banana and fried apple rings develops, what a beautiful nose. And also on the palate there is a nice woody note, which one has in the form of moods on the palate, which have not yet been lit. And yes, the orchestra underlines the medical note all the time in the background. Wonderful.

  10. marmeladow scored this whisky 98 points Expert Senior

    Sample at the Inter-Whisky: Awesome half an hour of enjoyment. Fruit, mild smoke, sweetness, incredibly ripe and complex - of course priceless


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