(On a related note, during that same visit, the gentleman pointed out a 20+ year old bourbon distilled at Stitzel-Weller and bottled by Willett. It was $199.99. He recommended I buy that immediately. I didn't. That same bottle now sells for over $1000 on the secondary market. Clearly he knew something I didn't.)
|pic from the K&L site|
because I can't find my
danged sample photo
Though I never got around to buying this whisky my buddy, Tetris, did and he supplied me with a generous sample (Thanks!) to review.
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Age: 16 years (April 28, 1997 - July 9, 2013)
Alcohol by Volume: 55.2%
Caramel Colorant? No
The nose is more floral, mintier, and vanilla-woodier than Monday's 15yo. Definitely some tree sap. More of a normal clean cut un-Laphroaig peat going on here. A citronella candle. A hint of exotic/tropical fruits. New cheap sneakers. After 15 minutes, there are new notes of roasted cashews, grilled pineapple, and dish soap.
The palate is both dingier and sweeter than the nose. Very sugary. Peat candy. Lemon and orange hard candies. Tart limes. Gradually the peat gets a little more organic, but then there's also a bit of green wood bitterness.
Mild peat residue in the finish. Citrus and sugar. Tart, bitter, and ocean salty.
WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose is a little more Laphroaigy. It's got some toasty peat, ocean air, and seaweed. Less fruity, more focused on the phenolics. Some chocolate maltiness underneath.
The bitterness improves in the palate. Less sweets, more herbal. A little bit of pepper heat. Perkier peat. Burnt/char notes and menthol.
Extinguished cigarettes, eucalyptus, and sugar cookies in the finish.
When neat, this is a safe Laphroaig for people who are not fans of Laphroaig. The peat notes seem like they could be from any distillery and the palate is plenty sweet. I think it improves measurably when water is added, with the sweetness getting brought under control and the burlier distillery character peeking out. If you're still holding onto this one and haven't opened it yet, I recommend adding water if it disappoints when neat. You'll find more of what you came for as the ABV drops.
Availability - Sold out
Pricing - pre-sold for $99.99, then went for $115.99
Rating - 83 (3-5 points lower when neat)