Laphroaig makes rich, full-flavored whiskies that envelop the drinker in a sea of peat smoke. There’s no arguing that fact. So when the brand unleashes a new offering they’re calling their “richest single malt whisky expression ever,” well, you should probably take note.
Laphroaig Lore is drawn from a selection of casks that include double matured first-fill ex-bourbon barrels followed by virgin European oak, first-fill oloroso sherry butts, first-fill and refill quarter casks and, finally, refill ex-Laphroaig stock. Got all that? There’s no age statement, but we are told that some of the whisky is as old as vintage 1993. We can be sure that a fair portion is substantially younger than that, too, but the complete breakdown isn’t published.
Either way, the result is a rich, 96-proof behemoth. The nose is awash in peat, iodine, sea water, burnt wood and roasted nuts. Following all that, a hint of fruit emerges–green apple, green banana, pear–plus a bit of vanilla cream sweetness. That’s quite a start. On the palate things are rich and oily with plenty more peat and brine, plus some dark berries and a pleasant dose of brûléed cream. Then things take a decidedly unexpected turn, with an intense hit of red pepper. More sweet than dry, hot chili peppers coat the tongue and remain for a long, lingering, sweet-heat finish.
There’s a lot going on here, and we like it. Maybe it is Laphroaig’s “richest ever” whisky, though the 10-year is certainly no slouch in that category. Regardless, Laphroaig Lore is about as brash and full-flavored as they come. And with that intense red pepper heat, it’s got something new to offer even the most loyal Laphroaig drinkers.
— 48% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★