A Quick Dram: Laphroaig 18 yo

Originally I wanted to taste it alongside the 15 yo, but somehow, before I managed to purchase a bottle, the stocks were exhausted. Never mind. I remember the 15 very well, a comparison is inevitable and the bar is pretty damn high.

Laphroaig 18 yo
Islay
48% ABV
Available here for £63.99

Colour: Laphroaig Trademark Colour. Browny with green glitter.

Nose: Big, deep, round and warm… you can almost touch it! Caramel apples and lemon peel on the bright side of the nose; nutmeg, black pepper, wet oak and soil on the dark side. Salty butter and more fruit come out with water. Hardly any traces of smoke.

Palate: Unmistakable, unbelievable. Laphroaig in its ultimately elegant incarnation. Bitter yet sweet (but not bittersweet). Malt, tar, peat, super dark chocolate. Fascinating intensity.

Finish: Growing. Spicy and feinty. Iodine trademark present.

Overall: This is the kind of whisky that reminds me why I am passionate about this drink. It combines everything I love most about Scotch whisky: clean but complex nose, heavyweight palate, eye-popping finish… a great dram. Unfortunately the whisky bares an unreasonable price tag. Can you afford it? I can’t.

Person: Lennox Lewis

In my opinion it is better than the 15 yo. But I wouldn’t mind trying them alongside, just to make sure (hint, hint).

Lucas

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Comments

  1. Nice review. This is definitely a great whisky, but very tough to find in Vancouver, Canada. All we have (at the moment) is a 10 year old Douglas Laing bottling at $350CDN, more than 4 times the price of the quarter cask (the only other available here). And at the price of the 18yo, it might be hard to justify sourcing a bottle from elsewhere.

  2. Yeah, good review. Agree totally. Am shocked at the price though. I picked it up at the distillery when i was there back in April. Cost me £42. I feel privileged.

    Also, the wee corner shop in Port Ellen has quite a few ‘older’ looking bottles in the window – saw the L15 for £26, if my memory serves me well.

  3. I don’t know what happened with the price on this – when I reviewed it in March, I was told that irt was to be released imminently and that the RRP would be £50, which seemed reasonable. Then it was delayed for two months and turned up at over sixty quid. Perhaps the advance reviews were too good? :)

    http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2009/03/tasting-new-laphroaig-18-year-old/

  4. in my bar,whereI’m working,we have L15..so Lucas if you want,we waiting for you:))

  5. Loved the 15 yo! Debated buying the 18 yo when Laphroaig were selling online in the friends shop. I think I bought something cheaper instead. Pretty weighty price tag, agreed.

    Shame they’re getting rid of the 15, but if 18 is better… perhaps that’s a little silver lining.

    I’m just sorry no one will be buying me that one for my birthday.

  6. [...] at Edinburgh Whisky raves about the Laphroaig 18.  I can’t wait until this hits the states, though I agree with him that the price point is [...]

  7. RMW have L15 in stock again as does the whiskyexchange.com

  8. Laphroaigis a humdinger of a whisky! Arguably the most devastating (and I mean that in a constructive manner) of the Islay peated single malts. Perhaps you’ve noticed, a lot of Isaly whiskies come in green bottles. There is in fact a reason for that. When the bottle is green, you cannot make out the color of the whisky. If you cannot see the color, you’re purchasing decision will instead be based on the label rather than the light color of the whisky in the bottle. The majority if Islay whiskies are bourbon cask matured & they are light in color. It’s a myth that the best whiskies have the darkest colors. All whiskies have magnificent ranges of flavour weather they are light or dark in color. So, never judge a whisky by it’s color!

  9. Sorry to disappoint you mate, but Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Bowmore add caramel colouring to their whisky…

  10. 18 yo Laphroaig is the best expression I’ve ever tried. Love the regular stuff, and the quarter cask, but this is an ace dram for mellow moods. Have not in general been very moved by the festival specials, and haven’t yet had the right event to open the 40 yo.

    18 yo Lappydoodah is rather like the “very old” 30 yo Arbeg bottling of a few years ago at about a fifth of the price. Haunting etherial smokiness, without the apple smoke notes of the Ardbeg 1975.

    Can’t wait to try the Tripplewood.

  11. [...] my whisky blogging brothers’ reviews at Edinburgh Whisky Blog, TWEBlog, Whisky for Everyone, and [...]

  12. Just tasted the 18 tonight. I am a very big fan of the Laphroaig 10, so I wasn’t sure if this would match. Pleasantly suprised, enjoyed it very much. Paid only $68 for it yesterday in Des Moines, IA.

  13. I just got 2 bottles of the 18yo and have finally tried it, I love it and will use it for more of a go-to scotch with my 30yo bottle for the super special occasions. I am going to be reviewing it on my website also….I already have a few reviews on my blog and I think any scotch lover will love to read them…..cheers!

    http://blog.dalucastraps.com/ and http://www.DaLucaStraps.com

    -Daniel

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