Laphroaig 25 yo Cask Strength
Isle of Islay
£225 from Here
All that we see or seem,
Is but a dream within a dream.
- Edgar Allan Poe
The afternoon was unusually quiet and warm for Edinburgh. As I was walking up the Royal Mile I could smell the spring. It was getting darker.
Minutes later I was sitting at a small table by a semicircular window with Chris White, an old friend, staring at the clouds gathering over the Old Town. I did not know what was about to happen. Nothing could prepare me for what possibly was the most wholesome sensory experience of my life.
Colour: Wet straw, sepia, blunt brown
Nose: Elderflower, rusty bread oven, sweet grass, orange chutney or rich marmalade. A little deeper it unveils black olives, dry oakiness, hints of peat and tobacco. All underpinned by Laphroaig trademark salty seaweed.
With a drop of water it opens dried fruit cake, cherries, milk chocolate, maple syrup and rich caramel.
Palate: Enters with an explosion of sweetness, extraordinary. After a second or two the warming sensation hits and the mouth starts watering frantically. It’s gorgeously oily and tastes of peat, but not smoke, which I find unusual. Processed oranges, toastiness, touch of spice and a layer of underripe lemon.
Finish: Lingering peat, stewed apple, hoppy bitterness, wild berries. It’s seemingly eternal, keeps coming with waves and waves of flavour. After a month or so, leaves you with super delicate smoke and peat and you don’t know at that stage if it’s still there, or is it just your soul playing games with your mind.
Person: The one you love most
Special thanks to Chris White, without whom I would have just sat there in a state of disconnection, my pen not making any contact with the paper.