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Laphroaig 18 yo (1987/2006, Douglas Laing, 50%)

Today we feel lucky and we catch randomly in the samples’ cabinet, confident like the child who has to pull out the warm sphere of a rigged lottery. And in fact, surprise!, we choose one of the many Laphroaigs on our lucky shelves: the first one selected is… drum roll… the one you have already seen in the picture above! A refill sherry butt by Laphroaig, the #3109 to be precise: 18 years of maturation, selected and bottled by Douglas Laing in 2006. A vintage 1987 straight from the beautiful Old Malt Cask series, which has given many satisfactions to young and old fellas.

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N: forgive us if we say it every time, but: how good are Laphroaigs when they are not raped by the owners themselves?! Very elegant, aromatic, the first thing that stands out is the fruit: red apple, just cut and fragrant (especially the skin); tropical fruit, with sweet kiwi and mango (almost dehydrated mango). The peat is still alive, slightly medicinal, but without being too smoky, and without showing too much marinity. Rather an American BBQ, but without “off notes” and excesses. Tropical fruit is borderline floral, at times, if it makes sense. In general there is also a more herbaceous shade, between thyme and rhubarb, which stops a centimetre from the balsamic.

P: honestly, the drinkability is amazing. Full, it attacks on licorice, on notes of wood and burnt herbs (camphor?), really intense. Then gradually the fruity side takes over: apple, white fruit, which with a little water becomes even tropical (mixed tropical juice, sweet pineapple). Honey biscuits. Then let’s not forget the smoke and the peat, which especially without water seems rather medicinal (camphor…). The water changes a lot, it softens everything and softens the bitter component.

F: very long, with acrid and medicinal hints, and with the marine note (iodine more than fully salty) definitely evident. Extinguished bonfire. Someone dares: smoked jam?

When the barrel with the sherry meets the spirit with the peat… No, no one dies, but either it’s love at first sight, as for the sexy and intelligent woman, or it’s a terrible hodgepodge. Here we are, without a doubt, in the first category, even it lacks something to be defined a masterpiece. The olfact is extremely persuasive, with a rare, gorgeous frutiness. The palate gives its best with a drop of water, but perhaps it is missing a little of that “Laphroaigness” that had inebriated us in the nose. Summing up, however, we cannot but give a convinced and satisfied 88/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Cake – Long skirt, long jacket

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