Every year Laphroaig releases a special bottling for their Friends of Laphroaig club, although it generally becomes available on the open market. These bottlings are usually NAS although their age is alluded to in the marketing materials, and each one has its own unique schtick of some sort. They’re also bottled at high ABV and without chill filtration and colourant.
Adding of colourant doesn’t really bother me so much, aside from playing into the widespread misconception that darker colour means better whisky, it doesn’t really affect the whisky (for me at least). Chill filtration on the other hand really affects the texture and flavour delivery and the difference is even more pronounced in a peated whisky. So these ones carry a lot more punch.
This bottlings schtick is that it’s finished in port pipes. I love port, and while I don’t always like port finished whisky, I usually really enjoy the combination of port and peat.
Aged 3 years*. 51.3% ABV. Finished in port pipes. No colourant added, non-chill filtered.
Nose: Classic Laphroaig signature, mineral peat, brine, iodine,rubber. Some nice meaty notes, glazed roast, etc. Burned fruits. Black cherries. Raisins. Light spice, cloves and nutmeg. Old books.
Palate: Earthy peat. Salt. Redcurrant jelly. Smoked salmon. Coffee with milk and sugar. Plum pudding.
Finish: Long. Smoked meat. Red fruits. Woodspice. Bit of fresh road tar.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This is a lovely dram, thick and heavy peat with some nice fruity notes. What I really like about these bottlings is that the finish doesn’t overpower, but adds to the classic Laphroaig profile.