Double-matured in first- and second-fill ex-bourbon barrels. No sherry impact here. This is a glorious expression of old Laphroaig, sweet and smoky and mellow as can be. The nose is a racy, spicy beast, familiar to anyone who’s dabbled in older Islay. But the use of 100% bourbon casking lets a more pure expression of the whisky shine through. The nose’s fire and brimstone are tempered with vanilla and caramel, and unlike many an Islay, its sweetness is kept clearly and firmly in check. The palate builds on that base, taking the the dying embers of a spent fire and injecting them with fresh apple notes, plus notes of gingerbread and flamed banana. Again, its sweetness is kept firmly in check, the finished product showcasing a balance and delicacy you almost never find in Islay whiskies. The above may be simple flavors and tastes, but Laphroaig 30 is anything but a basic whisky. It’s a nuanced malt definitively worth exploring, savoring, and understanding. 107 proof.
Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch Limited Edition 1985 30 Year 107 750 ML
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The 30 year old has an amber color with a slight greenish cast. The nose is big, aromatic, with elements of sherry, oak, phenols, iodine, seaweed, and smoke. The body is a bit thick and oily. The palate is rich and complex with the contrasting flavors that make the 10-year-old wild and unruly, but in this older expression they become subtle nuances. The finish is long, oily, medicinal, salty, smoky, and a little peppery. Quite exceptional.