Wednesday 24th September saw the eighth annual Laphroaig Live broadcast from Sweden.
Streamed live from a tiny island called Fjäderholmarna, which is part of the archipelago just outside Stockholm, it was uniquely Scandinavian in flavour.
Of course this may have had something to do with the show’s location, a famous smokery restaurant called Rökeriet!
This years panel of whisky experts had the pleasure of sharing four phenomenal Laphroaigs:-
- The latest Global expression called Select.
- This year’s much acclaimed Cairdeas finished in Amontillado casks.
- A unique 12 year old triple casked Nordic special.
- A fourth sample that was decided by a Friends of Laphroaig online vote – the Laphroaig 18 Year Old in this case.
As always, the Distillery Manager, John Campbell was a member of the expert tasting panel accompanied by three famous Swedish personalities: Nour el Refai – a comedian, TV personality, host and a well-known Swedish radio presenter, Peter Borg – chairman of the Swedish Whisky Association and Håkan Dahlberg – a prolific Swedish whisky blogger of I Love Whisky.
The show ended with promises and hints of some great things coming for Laphroaig’s 200th. Anniversary next year, including long-hoped for 15 and 21 year old single malts.
No prizes for guessing where Laphroaig Live will be held next year then – Roll on 2015!
Tasting Notes – Laphroaig The latest Global expression called Select
Laphroaig Select takes its name from the special selection of American and European casks, chosen for their unique character that they give during maturation.
Olorosso sherry butts, straight American white oak (non-filled with bourbon), PX seasoned hogs heads, Quarter Casks and finally First Filled Bourbon Casks were all used to vary cask maturation techniques enabling the creation of 6 new flavour combinations that were then tested by ‘The Friends of Laphroaig’.
From this they chose their favourite which then became LAPHROAIG SELECT.
Nose: Lovely smoke and peat hit straight away! Sweet, heathery overtones
Palate: Sweet sherry floral flavours with a peaty backnote.
Finish: Mild spice n’ pepper, lingering warm finish.
Overall: Another hit for this ever popular dram – but you need to be a ‘Friend of Laphroaig’ to purchase and enjoy it – but that’s not a great hardship!
Tasting Notes – Laphroaig This year’s much acclaimed Cairdeas
A firm favourite with ‘The Friends of Laphroaig’ is each Cairdeas release. This year is no exception with the Cairdeas being a Laphroaig that has been double matured first in “first fill” ex-bourbon casks then in Amontillado hogsheads for one year.
Nose: Sweet sherry notes with rich chocolate.
Palate: Sweet, christmassy cake flavours with added cinnamon.
Finish: Smooth, sweet sherry with a mild finish.
Overall: There is muted smokiness and peat – surprising on such a powerful spirit – but that doesn’t mean that this release isn’t morish!
Tasting Notes – Laphroaig 12 year old Nordic special
A special creation for Laphroaig’s legion of Nordic fans using the traditional 10 year old as a starting point and triple casking over a further 2 year period.
Not currently available, it is due for release in the Scandinavian market at the end of the year.
Nose: Peat, smokiness and heathery scents with a sea tang.
Palate: Classic 10YO Laphroaig peat & smoke with a nice sweet sherriness, shades of grapefruit.
Finish: Spiciness abounds with quite fierce pepper – but don’t worry – it compliments the sweetness!
Overall: This is going to be a popular dram – but you may need to travel to buy and enjoy it – that’s if the Nordic fans are willing to let it go!
Tasting Notes – Laphroaig 18 Year Old ( 40% )
A true classic and one chosen by ‘The Friends of Laphroaig’ to be the fourth malt to be tasted during the nights show. Last, but certaunly not least, this 18YO was worth all the waiting in the world for!
Made in limited quantities each year and therefore only able to be savoured by a fortunate few.
Nose: Peat smoke with a lovely caramel toffee.
Palate: Sherry and sultana sweetness, chocolate and banana.
Finish: Very smooth – the famous peat takes a partial backseat for sweetness, chocolate and heather!
Overall: A simply stunning dram – treat with respect – there’s not much of it about!