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

€ 10252.39

76 × in wishlist

141 × member ratings

144 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Laphroaig 40-year-old

23 users have left 24 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 93.54 points.

  1. 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.

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  3. Fight65 scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    Great cinema this old Laphroaig - thanks Dani for the sample!
    • Nose
      94 94
      With this great nose you want to spend some more time. After a while in the glass, new aromas keep appearing. For a Laphy it is very fruity with nice notes of ripe peach but you can also see apples and lemons. The whole thing is finely coated with a delicate smoke and salt/iodine veil. Amazing that after 40 years no wood can be seen. Those old Laphroaigs are a stunner.
    • Taste
      92 92
      The nose has promised more than what the palate gives. The sweet fruits were replaced by lemon, green tea and a medicinal note of iodine. Slightly dry.
    • Finish
      92 92
      Long finish with a salty sweetness. Nice subtle campfire smoke stays at the end.

  4. JoshNRW scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    There is probably no better way to start a Laphroaig tasting. The oldest vintage and maturation found from Laphroaig.
    These are aromas that are unfortunately no longer found in today's Islay whisky or in other whiskys. This has nothing to do with today's Laphroaigs.

    You won't find many special whiskys in the respective genre and the 95 points are for enthusiasm, but above all for the incredibly exciting and beautiful aromas.
    • Nose
      You'd be wondering, where's the Laphroaig, if you didn't know that the old Islay things have very little to no smoke flavoring (at least when they're that old). Here, after 10 minutes, the medicinal smoky notes come out and push themselves in the middle part next to the bubbly fruit punch that old Islay whiskys often have. The sweetness reminds me of the very high quality and expensive sweet wines - incredibly good. In between, a salty note of iodine. If I find a wood note, then only with imagination, which is amazing for a whisky that has been in the barrel for 40 years. Live peach and physalis instead. The alcohol is of course no longer really to be found at 42.4 percent and 40 years and everything looks like a beautiful fruit punch with old Islay aromas.

      Incredibly beautiful harmony, volume and lightness at the same time.

      After 30 minutes in the glass, it then appears much more distinctive and spicy, brown sugar. Impressive development.
    • Taste
      Wow, here it comes a little spicier than the nose and evolves and evolves and doesn't stop pushing.
      Here also for the first time a slightly bitter, light wood note, which gives the whisky even more character.

      The aromas are a stale fruit bowl made from the highest quality ingredients, with salty iodine aromas in between and a light smoky note from the campfire that only comes out at the back when you let the leftovers smack your palate.
      Here again, after a long time, a nice portion of brown sugar that has been caramelized in the pan, oily fruit sweetness and slightly light leathery aromas.
      Grandiose spectacle in the mouth!
    • Finish
      The mouthfeel is very mouth-filling, soft and full of different intense aromas. The whisky stays for a long time and in between there is always a flash of salty sweetness, which is still on the tongue after five minutes.
      Bitter wood aromas are not to be found even after 40 years in the barrel.

  5. dram-drinker scored this whisky 93 points Photo Moderator

    Quite surprising fruitiness which is more with orchard fruits than with tropical fruits while the peat and smoke really stays in the background but comes more and more out in the finish, very subtle and balanced, quite drinkable but unfortunately it was just a small sample - great stuff!
    • Nose
      92 92
      Fruity, apple, pear, apricot, peach, some honey, fruit cake, vanilla, hay, little citric, fine tobacco notes , hint of oak wood, whiffs of peat and smoke - very good!
    • Taste
      93 93
      Oily, creamy, honey, yellow fruits, cigar tobacco, herbs, hint of peat and tar, little smoky, hint of lemon peel, hay, smoked oysters, iodine, medicinal notes - great!
    • Finish
      93 93
      Medium long, warm, more peaty and smoky, tobacco, herbs, spices, little woody, fruity

  6. michik81 scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

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

  7. Proneor scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Nose: At first very delicate, fresh. Then notes of fruit, soft sweetish smoke, lacquered wood are revealed. Further berries, heather, citruses, seaweed.
    Taste: Spicy taste, soft smoke. Sweet fruits, orange peel, pears and dates. The taste is deep, plum, slightly vanilla. There is not too much oak, but the complexity emphasized by the barrel is very clearly present. Whisky spicy and at the same time some even creamy.
    Finish: Oak tones, mustard and spices. Ginger, malt, fire smoke. Next are plums, fruit, orange peel, pears and dates. A little smoke. Fruity notes, multifaceted sweetness, minerality and soft oak providing the perfect balance.

  8. FeydRautha scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Kalleholzbein scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

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

  12. Baanaanaabob scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    Apple pear, tobacco, iodine, bit of banana, apricot, peach, citrus, not much peat left after 40y in the wood but still some subtle medicinal smoke, pepper, very good

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

    [December 2022] Another re-taste during the longest night of the year (winter solstice), and I am tempted to raise the score to 96 points tonight. Take your time with such an old beauty, it will reward both your olfactory cells and taste buds accordingly.
    • 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 anything 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.

  16. GLEN MAUR did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Tasting note by Serge Valentin

     Laphroaig 40 yo (42.4%, OB, +/-2001) Five stars We’re revisiting this old glory… Colour: deep gold. Nose: much more delicate, rather on high-end marzipan, clams, old waxes and oils, hessian, old books, old bookshop (polish), beeswax, mint flavoured tea… All delicacy, all elegance, and quite the opposite of all the tens. Notes of plantains. The peat doesn’t feel much anymore, but its there, just very, very delicate. Soft eucalyptus, embrocations... An old lady who works in a very old pharmacy (says Angus).

    Mouth: all delicacy and elegance. Not as light as I remembered, certainly not too oaky, but there’s a subtle mintiness, lovely bitter oranges, a touch of angelica (quite a lot of angelica, in fact) and the most complex and elegant coastal peatiness. There’s more than I remembered. Finish: medium length. Citrons, oranges, crème de menthe, genepy, aniseed… Superb ultra-clean aftertaste. Comments: really, I insist, this one’s feels nicer than when last tried it. Would that be good Old Bottle Effect? I’m as happy as a bunny. I used to prefer the 30 in the older days, but things change. SGP:555 (that’s balanced, isn’t it) – 93 points.

  17. 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!

  18. Goethe scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Great Laphroaig. You can nose this for hours and hours. It is very delicious. The texture on the palate is amazing. Wood, oil, smoke and biscuit s in the mix.

    Concerning price/performance ratio: 2/10 (2016)
    • Nose
      Old. Old oil tanks, old leather, old books. Dusty, hints of smoke, cosy BBQ, way in the back some figs and plums. Different teas. Some tropical fruits. Somehow everything is in there but very well covered.
    • Taste
      Dusty smoke and an amazing texture. Oil und wood in the mix. Some kind of a biscuit smoke. A creamy cold bonfire.
    • Finish
      Medium to Long. Some dark chocolate, espresso, oil and wood in the mix.

  19. 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

  20. franpincoffee scored this whisky 96 points Expert Senior

    The nose on this cask-strength Laphroaig is clean and smooth with muted peat, heather, gorse, and hints of brine. The taste is peaty and bold with smoke and fire that fades to ash with hints of caramel. The finish is lingering and ashy with touches of smoke and salt water. Outstanding!

  21. markkerr02 scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Test 041: Old Islay Whisky - 040306 The final vote of the evening's favorite gave the following results: 1. Laphroaig 30Y, 37 votes 2. Laphroaig 10Y (1960s), 7 votes Ardbeg 1964-1996, 7 votes 4. Ardbeg 1963-1994, 3 votes 5. Laphroaig 40Y, 1 voice

  22. Speymalt scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    First, this wonderful, aromatic smoke beguiles you. Always present but never intrusive. For me, too, not medically, as I expected. Rather, a cold, glowing, great aromatic campfire. The oak gives off a powerful spice. Dark planed chocolate, licorice and other spices can be found here. The smoke and the oak together form a harmonious bouquet and carry the remaining flavors seamlessly. Air-dried ham with a pinch of sea salt. A mint leaf cools and refreshes the nose. Again and again a sweetness comes out, reminiscent of a tropical salad of mango, papaya and honeydew melon, doused with a light vanilla sauce. Simply fantastic this interplay between the smoke, the oak and the sweetness. As soon as one has caught the yellow exotic fruits in the nose, the heavy spices settle on the aroma, in order to release the sweetness the next moment, stunning. In the taste, the aroma continues. Here you are surprised with a short, sweet start, but which immediately fades again, because the oak unfolds in the next moment its full aroma 40 years long maturation period. In the mouth a firework ignites. Powerful, voluminous, almost sparkling. Spices, espresso and the smoke fill the mouth. You do not want to swallow it at all, so impressive. The finish is medium to long and warm. It leaves a great spicy aroma in the mouth and you will be rewarded with a warm but not burning finish.

  23. art-bett scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    COLOR: gold / dark straw

    NOSE: multilayered, fleshy, salted cooked ham, fruit salad, honeydew melon, if there is such a thing: sweet old furniture polish .....

    TASTE: soft, creamy, positively woody musty, cold campfire, in a nutshell = harmonious and round.

    Departure: short to medium, very pleasant on the palate ....

    CONCLUSION: to share with 3 people a 5 cl sample ....... probably a slap in the face enough to appreciate this whisky.

    ....... nevertheless, * big cinema *


  24. Furtia scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

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

  25. Feusi scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Yes i`m surprised about this bottle, this bottle is quit other then all the other laphroaigs i tasted. Sweet honey notes come into the nose. I`m searching for some peat, smoke or a sea brize and yes here they are but more in the background. The creamy and spicy body stays in the forground. This is really a new "Laphroaig" expirience.


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