...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Laphroaig 18 year old 1997 Berry Bros & Rudd, cask 56

I don't know about y'all, but I am really out of the loop when it comes to independently bottled Laphroaig. Aside from 3 Signatories and 1 SMWS, this site is absent indie 'Phroaig reviews. Though single casks from this southern Islay distillery were never cheap, demand has pushed their prices higher and higher to the point where I don't even look at their latest releases.

That's why bottle splits are cool. And that is why famed fashion blogger, My Annoying Opinions, is cool. He got me in on a split of this 18yo BBR Laphroaig. No it's not full strength, but Laphroaig still kicks asses up and down the block at 46%abv, especially when the cask tinkering currently beloved by Beam Suntory is kept to a minimum. MAO and I are both posting our reviews on this whisky this morning. Here’s his review!

Distillery: Laphroaig
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: Berry Bros. & Rudd
Age: 18 years old (1997 - ????)
Maturation: probably ex-bourbon cask
Cask number56
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered: No
Colored: No
(from a bottle split)

It's color is light amber. A good sign. The nose leads with cigarette ash, menthol, lemon zest and citronella. Moments of honeydew, ocean air, cinnamon and anise are sprinkled throughout. The palate has a nice combination of peat, heat, sweet and frueet (fruit). Lemon and orange slice candies. Baked apples, as well as green apple hard candies. It's actually not as sweet as those descriptors may sound. A little bit of mint in there. Eighteen years in a cask has steered the famous Laphroaig peat towards a roasted salty style. More fruit in the finish. It's a little tangier too. Baked apples, chili oil, a little bit of salt and ash. A good length on it.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or less than 1tsp per 30mL whisky
More candy and citrus on the nose. Hints of peaches and cinnamon. Quiet peat. The palate gets sweeter and ashier and mintier and bitterer all at the same time. It's less complex, but louder. The finish mirrors the palate. Its shorter than before, but not short.

This whisky won't raise high your roof beams (sorry) like the official 10yo CS, but the Laphroaig spirit still simmers throughout. Stupid metaphors. I'll start again.

This is a nice thing, a proper calm late night drink during winter's fifth month. The fruit and peat stay in balance then it finishes very well. I wish I had a sample of the great long gone official 18yo to compare this to. (I remember that one being graceful, but I also remember me being graceful in centerfield when I was twelve. Thank you, Memory.) If the bottle was less than half its current price, I'd be interested in obtaining one. IF!

Availability - Total Wine & More
Pricing - $220 💋
Rating - 87