...and to make this tasting more interesting I try this dram head-to-head to its sibling from last year (2019). Wow, it improved! I like this year's batch better than the 2019 edition because of more powerful aromas and flavours both in the nose and on the palate in an overall better balanced profile. This is pre-Beam Laphroaig as I like it - impressive, interesting to explore and dangerously quaffable... Is it worth 95 bucks? Let me state it this way: It is (beside the 10-years old Cask Strength) the only actual Laphroaig edition I will buy a second (and maybe third) bottle of.
The colour is a notch darker than the 2019 at yellow gold and the nose offers a comparable profile (what else?) of heavy peaty-medicinal aromas in a sweet barley sugary frame with appropriate wooden notes. After some breathing herbal and shy fruity aromas join in. While right after serving the 2020 was more shy than the 2019 its nose opened up quickly and after five minutes it grow (a little) more powerful than the 2020's nose, mainly due to stronger phenolic notes which increase the complexity too. Actually, I like the 2020's nose better.
2020's taste is bold and greatly chewable, I strongly suggest to do so because the dram releases much more flavour impressions this way. It is quite sweet but both the peaty and wooden flavours contain these sweet notes powerful and create an impressive yet balanced profile on my palate. The 2019 is less sweet so the peat and woods have a bigger say but this is very interesing (and quaffable) as well. I go for a draw on this dimension pointwise, but in doubt I would grap the 2020's glass (if I am forced to decide between the two).
The initial mouthfeel of this dram is warming and nicely coating without any distracting moments. 2019 is comparable but again I like this year's edition a little better (due to a greater coating effect). Same with the finish - the 2020's is very long on a perfect balanced trinity of barley sugars, maritime-peaty notes and appropriate wooden impressions without any bitter or drying moments at all. The finish of the 2019 is long too but shorter than this year's batch and the woods are somewhat stronger, adding a minor bitter impression towards the end. Yes, I prefer 2020 on this dimension too. Water is not needed on both drams.