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Laphroaig 15 yo ‘The Artist #3’ (1998/2013, Signatory for La Maison du Whisky, 60,1%)

We really enjoyed the Laphroaig we had on Monday; since we are hedonists, we want to double the pleasure… We’re not talking about suburban brothels, and not even about ambiguous massage parlors with their sinful happy endings: we aim straight for another sample of Laphroaig, this time a single cask selected and bottled by La Maison du Whisky (through Signatory) in the series The Artist, #3. It is a refill-sherry cask, like the brother we tasted about a year ago, bottled after 15 years of maturation (1998/2013) without chill filtration and natural color, at cask strength. The colour is amber.

81671-normal

N: not alcoholic enough to frighten you, but still a wild animal: it seems to invoke a drop of water. Also neat, however, rich suggestions of strawberry jam and candied orange (blood orange) emerge. The contribution of an intense and acrid peat is powerful; iodine (sea breeze) and burnt wood; licorice roots too. With water, it definetely opens up: it certainly helps, it makes it more sniffable. Cough syrup; also the fruity side takes advantage, with notes of dried figs and canned peaches; notes of sherry, liqueurs; and also burnt rubber, diesel…

P: this too is a great whisky: certainly it is alcoholic, but it imposes a wall of violent and compact taste. It is both island and marine (seawater, seaweed) and woody; it is both fruity (between tropical and strawberry) and burnt: and then lots of citrus, from orange to mandarin: tangerine? With water it becomes more enjoyable, multiplying the possible cues: the fruit is more varied, ripe; then a sense of burnt sweetness that we sum up with: brown sugar.

F: it won’t be a happy ending, but it’s certainly a happy finish: brown sugar, strawberry, smoke, burnt rubber, acrid peat… And it lasts a long, long time.

Compared to Laphroaig Cask Strength ‘green stripe’, maybe we like this one a little less: it remains (relatively) simpler and a little ‘artificial’, due to the massive contribution of the cask: however the oak integrates very well with the distillate, and in our opinion this is a step ahead of the first version of ‘The Artist’ we drank some time ago. In short, certainly Laphroaig can handle sherry very well, and La Maison du Whisky knows how to choose its casks… 90/100, and again thanks to Claudione for the sample.

Recommended soundtrack: Unearth – The Swarm.

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