Laphroaig 15 Old & New


The Laphroaig 15 was a long-time favourite of the core range, sitting nicely in the age range where the peat and distillate is still very expressive but with the refinement of some cask time, yet not so much as to make the whisky completely mellow.

The original 15 year old, pictured on the right, was discontinued in 2009 and replaced by the 18 year old. For their 200th anniversary Laphroaig released a 15 year expression for a limited time, let’s see how they compare.

Laphroaig 15 (pre-2009)

Aged 15 years, 43%ABV

Nose: Brine. Seafood. Campfire. Meat on the braai. Cooked fruits (apples, pineapples and and peaches specifically). Toasted wood. Marmalade. A lovely floral note. Acacia sap. Very subtle vanilla.

Palate: Burned wood. Brine. Gentle mineral peat. Bitter lemon. Citrus rind. Allspice. Toasted almonds. White wine.

Finish: Medium. Rubber. Bitter wood. Dry white wine. Wisps of earthy peat.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes


The finish and palate suffer a bit for the chill filtration and low ABV, but it’s still an excellent whisky. It’s a lot less aggressive than the 10, but so much more complex. I found a lot more bourbon-fruity and maritime notes in there.

Laphroaig 15 200th Anniversary Edition

Aged 15 years, 43%ABV

Nose: Signature Laphroaig mineral peat medicinal and salty. Charcoal dust. Smoked meat. Herbal, grassy note. Apple sauce. Hint of sweet vanilla and woospice.

Palate: Ashy peat. Coppery metallic note. Bitter citrus. Dry white wine.

Finish: Short-Medium. Earthy peat. Bitter wood. Sweet apples. Hint of lingering salt.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5

This was nice, but a letdown considering what it is and where it comes from. I kept getting hints of greatness but they fizzled away so fast. Really could have done wonders at higher ABV. As is, short, boring, and I’ll take 2 bottles of QC over this for the same price any day.

I much preferred the older version here. Both seemed to suffer a little from their chill filtration and lower ABV, but the older version was far more complex whereas I felt like the newer one’s flavours fizzled away very quickly.


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