Laphroaig 1996 The Whisky Society


Thanks to Yossi for the sample

While my social media is exploding with all kinds of tantalising images of friends enjoying this year’s Feis Ile, I have to be content with sitting here drinking some Laphroaig. But at least it’s a special Laphroaig.

This is an older independent bottling under the Whisky Society label, which apparently belongs to Specialty Drinks Ltd., the folks behind the amazing Elements of Islay series. This one seems to be from those amazing sets of mid 90’s refill sherry casks which are never a disappointment.

Aged 12 years. 57.5%ABV. Matured in a refill sherry butt. No colourant added. Non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Mineral peat. Sea salt. Prawn chips. Iodine. Tar. Synthetic rubber. Salt & Vinegar chips. Slight grape flavouring note.

Palate: Coal dust. Campfires on the beach, soot and smoke mixed with salty air. Quite a lot of pepper and woodspice here. Bitter oranges. Grapefruit.

Finish: Long. Oil smoke. Rubber. Tar. Barbecue grease. Black pepper.

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 had a very maritime nose, but it sort of softens out with time. This carries through to the palate but a peppery, spiciness reveals itself along with some more fruity notes. It’s very much a Laphroaig, but deviates just enough from the typical profile to be really really interesting.


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