The older 43% Laphroaig was completely different, full of sherry, sweet butter, smoke, peat and none of the legendary gauze. It was slightly syrupy on the mouth and very smokey and peaty but not a huge dramatic attack as I had remembered. What surprised me the most was the sherry which made it very, very excellent.
The current version of Laphroaig was lighter in color and the nose did not reveal a hint of sherry or for that matter bourbon (which is curious because Laphroaig is matured in Bourbon casks) but quite a bit of wood, dust and the famous hospital gauze. It was a "thinner" whisky with hints of citrus or more specifically orange. It was certainly dryer and slightly dusty and reminded me of Lagavulin (I always find Lagavulin to be "dusty" when tasted).
The Cask Strength was sweeter than the current 10 and slightly darker in color (as you would expect) however with the addition of water it's closer to the current version of Laphroaig, as you’d expect.
As I stated this is a very non scientific test and only involved one sample of an older Laphroaig. However the main discovery is that this older bottle and the current version are different but from the same family and I really love Laphroaig either way.
Any comments or observations would be appreciated.
I'm a cigar aficionado, especially cuban cigars, and their taste have changed through years too...
I think that all products, especially artisanals products, can't be the same through years, sometimes they go better, sometimes not...
But actually, whiskies that are changing (like Macallan), are changing for bad reasons : business...
Sorry for my bad english.
I have heard many people comment that the current OB 15yo Laphroaig reminds them of what the 10yo USED to taste like.
I love the 15yo - its sweetness and sherry influence is delicious.
I also find the current 10yo quite thin. It seems out of balance - all the iodine, gauze, and peat is there, but there doesn't seem to be any meat or "guts" behind the smoke.
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