You’ll typically see refill barrels at the 18 year range, since wood influence tends to become an issue with longer maturation. So having a chance to enjoy this expression, comprised of four first fill bourbon barrels distilled in 1998, was enjoyable. The wood is definitely present, and it adds a lot of its American oak character.
Bottled by Elements of Islay, part of the Specialty Drinks’ stable.
Elements of Islay – Lp7, Laphroaig 1998, 18 Year Old, First Fill ex Bourbon Barrels (52.8% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Amber, slow legs.
Nose: Very Laphroaig-y, vanilla and medicinal peat, honey, green apple peels, toasting marshmallow on a fire a little down the coast.
Water enhances the vanilla, bringing out some warm wood spice, namely cinnamon. After time, a hint of pine comes through.
Palate: Dry, smoky and sweet, with some wet oak and a sour candy. There are some “green” notes on the palate.
Linger: Smoky and metallic, dry and tannic, with a layer of sweetness and fruit.
Beautiful independent bottling of a Laphroaig, it aged well and is a pretty sophisticated dram.
This bottle was part of the ‘Elements of Islay’ tasting held in July by MMI – Malt Mongers Israel Whisky Club.