Laphroaig 40-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
40 years old
Number of bottles
42.4 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
05 Apr 2009 4:05 am
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 10138.40

73 × in wishlist

129 × member ratings

138 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Laphroaig 40-year-old

18 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 93.71 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [June, 2018]  A career/investment decision I took about 20 years ago finally paid off now and secured my future pension plan.  So I am in the extremely lucky position to open and drink all the bottles that were earmarked as a backup for my pension age so far.  And I start with this legendary bottle of the oldest Laphroaig that ever was released (up to now).  I bought bottle no. 0038 for 460 Euro (900 Deutschmark) in December, 2001.

    This is one of the most complex and elegant drams I tasted so far with the broadest aromas and flavours profile of them all, most probably.  It is simply delicious and a lot of fun to explore (if you are lucky enough to enjoy more than just a small sample).  Contrary to most of the high-priced modern releases of 40-years old whiskies this dram is worth every cent of the release price of 460 Euro per bottle.  Is it worth today's outrageous price tag?  It all depends upon the deepness of your pockets...

    [September, 2020] Thanks to my sample library I am able to re-taste this dram tonight and I am as flabbergasted as I was the first time. It is very delicate and subtle with all my taste buds dream of: fruits and peat, molten sugars and medicinal aromas, oils, waxes, herbs, spices and and and... all in a perfectly balanced mix. I could sniff and chew this for hours!
    • Nose
      95 95
      The colour is amber and the texture shows a fat sticky ring at the top of the glass that builds some fat sticky tears over time that refuses to build legs at all (a great oiliness!). The nose is rather shy for a (modern) Laphroaig - but hey, this baby slept for 40 years and of course anyone looses some power over such a long time. But it gained an incredible complexity instead: Actually there are at least twenty to thirty different aromas to find (and I do not own the finest nose at all), very delicate and elegant with not a single off-note. Perfectly balanced - one to sniff for hours (but do not expect anything that comes close to today's "I punch that in ya face" Laphroaig style).
    • Taste
      95 95
      The taste is about as delicate and complex as was the nose with even some richer flavours, especially the peaty and medicinal notes are stronger here. I really like that! It is truly multi-layered and I have to force myself to finally swallow the whisky as my taste buds cannot get enough of this tasty experience.
    • Finish
      94 94
      The dram arrives smooth and absolutely charming on the palate. It immediately covers the whole of the mouth and shows not a single bitter or astringent wooden note (again, if you like the modern style wood-driven Laphroaig forget about this one). This is by far the best arrival I experienced since years! Close to perfection... The finish is long (but it could be longer if you ask my taste buds) and without any distracting moment, too. Absolutely flawless and clean and with the same flabbergasting complexity as were the nose and the taste. Water is not needed.

  2. Jackson05 scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    Music choice: Big Mama Thornton - Ball And Chain

    Laphroaig 40 Year Old 1960-2001 42.4% 3300btls

    Probably the only time I will have the privilege to drink a whisky that was distilled while Bessie Williamson was distillery manager (1954-1972). It’s pure liquid history at this point. To date the oldest Laphroaig ever bottled.

    Bessie Williamson intended to become a teacher, only taking an internship at Laphroaig in 1932. She worked directly with owner Ian Hunter and took on more and more responsibility with his poor health. During world war 2 she was responsible for safe guarding Laphroaig’s stock and equipment from theft and damage while operations were mothballed. Over 400 tonnes of ammunition were stored at Laphroaig during these years. She is credited with growing Single malt whisky as a brand in the US and positioning Laphroaig as a brand for the future. When Ian Hunter died in 1954 Bessie inherited Laphroaig, his home, and the island of Texa. She obviously made a huge impact, quite a testament to her character. Fast forward 6 years and this spirit was laid down in a cask...and now in 2019, into my glass...

    N: Very soft and delicate. All these notes are light, but completely complementary . Any brash peaty notes have been soaked into the wood leaving what I can only describe as a resin. It’s as if you cut down the grandest of oak trees and smelled right in the center of it after it rained. Very soft tar, pine, a minerality like crushed wet rocks or wool, hint of fresh dill, sea spray. I wouldn’t go as far to call it tropical, but there is undeniably more there. Old lemongrass, with a drop of pineapple juice. Very delicate and complex nose that evolves for hours in the glass. Stunning. It’s weird to say, but I feel like I could actually smell the tree that was used. Just this old grand elegant cask, beautiful Laphroaig spirit and time. That’s it. It’s actually kind of beautifully simple.

    P: Creamy, soft wax, light green tea notes, soft tar, faint lychee, a drop of pineapple juice, more sap/soft mint. It seems silly to put pen to paper on all these notes when you simply realize it is a delicate symphony of flavours and your brain cannot keep up.

    F: Lemon oil, sea spray, like taking a walk through the forest after a storm. crushed wet rocks, tannins from the wood (pleasant), pinecones, soft tar, shorter finish. Anything less than forever is of course too short.


    It’s only a difficult dram to describe. When you have it, it makes perfect sense. It’s very light and delicate. There is a lot there, but you feel almost silly pulling out the few notes you are capable of, because it is so much more. The nose was my favourite part. I can (and did) smell this for hours. I only had a small sample that I shared with a friend. I’m sure if I had more time the score would only increase.

    So is it better than a Brora 35? Laphroaig 25? Springbank 21? Highland Park 30? I wouldn’t say for sure. It’s different. What’s certain is that it is a beautiful whisky of a time and style gone by. A piece of history. A time when the future of Islay whisky was not guaranteed. When Bessie Williamson was trail blazing the way for Laphroaig, Islay, and women in the Industry. My grandfather was not even 30 at the time. Etta James released her famous album “At Last”. Cost of a new house was $12,700 in 1960. This whisky was already in the cask for 9 years before we landed on the moon. Now how can you not get romantic about that? Thank you to my generous friend for the sample. Sláinte Mhath.

  3. ASWhisky scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Ranking: 1st finish, 2nd nose, 3rd mouth
    In the mouth he was a bit exhausting
    and could not meet expectations with the key data
    • Nose
      silently in the glass
      sweet warm and dusty barley, some glue, some cucumber water, firm peach meat, wood

      yellow peach, very fruity, behind glue note and cucumber water, white chocolate, barley malt
      warm but bright notes
      Sweet from the fair

      Barley - peat smoke on wet black bread
    • Taste
      oily <slightly perfumed, Glue, smoky barley, light chocolate
      something of the glue burns on the tongue
      again the white chocolate
      firm yellow peach meat Nut and wood, malt, light smoke
    • Finish
      very long

      becomes maritime, slightly salty
      spicy sweet
      and also ashes

      sweet peach
      very nice finish

  4. ctu scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Refined, elegant, restrained but complex and deep old Laphroaig. Premium stuff! 93/94.
    • Nose
      94 94
      Restrained, but complex. Malt, matured oak, sherry, lacquered wood and creamy peat. Honey, caramel, salted minerals, gerbeaud, seaweed and ginger orange marmalade.
      Eucalyptus and herbals. Rebarbara compote. Glue. Amazing!
    • Taste
      94 94
      Matured oak, malt, creamy peat and smoke. Sherry, sweet fruits and herbals. Orange peel, cocoa and mustard. Freshly baked bread. Bergamot oil. Wonderfully richness.
    • Finish
      93 93
      Long, bittersweet, oaky, spicy.

  5. lincolnimp scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    This is the sort of elegant restrained whisky that I like, but you need to take your time with it to get everything.
    • Nose
      peat and sherry tightly combined, faints hints of banana, brine, seaweed, toffee, ice cream wafer, caramels, touch of honey and dried fruits with a dose of English breakfast marmalade.
    • Taste
      Sweet peat mixing beautifully with the sherry, the peat is not overpowering in any way and stewed fruits come through, grapefruit, pineapple & mango, a little chocolate and Turkish delight notes perhaps a little rhubarb and custard?
    • Finish
      Getting sweeter with the peat coming back a little.

      With water the nose is more distant and the palate is more restrained, a little weaker so do not add more than a few drops.

  6. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [April, 2004]  Together with friends I emptied bottle no. 0168 that I bought for 376 Euro in September, 2003.

    [August, 2006]  Together with friends I emptied bottle no. 0246 that I bought for 301 Euro in April, 2004.

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored this 95 and 95+.  My notes state an unbelievable complex and delicate profile with almost no peaty flavours left.  But I guess a trained nose can easily identify 50+ different aromas.  A stunning dram!

  7. Furtia scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      88 88

  8. pere scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Quite fresh, fruity, just a bit of oak, very soft sweetish smoke, berries, heather, citrus, milk coffee, keeps evolving all the time.
    • Taste
      Sweetish, very soft smoke, fruity, plums, vanilla, a little bit roasted, a bit of oak, a bit of fresh fruits.
    • Finish
      Oak spices, plums, a hint of grass, very long and soft. A very complex whisky with just a bit of soft smoke, fruity sweetness and smooth oak to provide perfect balance.

  9. MaltMinute scored this whisky 95 points Member Senior

    Utterly stunning in its harmony between distillate, peat, and cask influence. On par with the Ardbeg 1974 Provenance. The like of this whisky will probably not be seen from the distillery again.

  10. Kalleholzbein scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      92 92


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