SMWS 29.180 – An Apothecary Shop on the Shore (16 year old Laphroaig)


I’ve just posted some older notes of SMWS Laphroaig bottlings and now I’m going to finish them off with a new post of sample I got hold of last week. As you may have noticed I try my hardest not to let gems like these slip through my fingers.

Our medical man had set up shop with gauze, elastoplast, witch-hazel, Tiger balm and hippy shop essential oils for good measure. Sooty bacon sandwiches, lemon curd and ginger cake on the nose before an intense blast of peat, dried rosemary and thyme. Medical shampoo (in a bizarrely pleasing way), BBQ sauce on burnt bacon rind dusted with ash, cardamom pods in cream cheese frosting and chilli chocolate. Water opened up a seaside hospital with plimsolls, freshly ironed linen and coal tar soap. Engine stoker’s wellies and sizzling steak on distant campfires before lingering iodine, dusty hedgehog crisps and fennel seeds.


DRINKING TIP: It will work miracles!

Aged 16 years. 52.3%ABV. Matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Nose is a little tight at first, needs glass time, or water, or maybe both. Not so much of the classic Laphroaig here, but some nice ashy notes and coal dust. Sea breeze. Lemon salts. Lemon zest. White pepper. Pickled ginger. Simple syrup. Cinnamon concentrate. Pencil eraser, the synthetic ones. With water some chalky notes develop along with some sweeter citrus.

Palate: And here’s the Laphroaig we all know. That classic dirty peat, some motor oil, medicinal notes a-plenty. Then we move on to some bitter wood notes, wood spice and a sweet citrus undertone, with some sweet peat notes too. With water the medicinal character gets stronger along with some ginger and pepper.

Finish: Long. Woodspice. A really long, deep menthol note. Iodine. Ash. Slight fruity sweetness. With water there’s a slight peppery tingle.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

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

VFM: 3/5

Another fantastic bottling. This was a bit odd on the nose, not bad, but odd. Very spicy and ashy, with a medicinal character more pronounced than even Laphroaig’s usual stuff (hence the name I guess).


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