When Laphroaig replaced their core 15-year-old expression with this, I was excited. Aged over three more years, kicked up ABV, and non chill-filtered. And of course, a doubling in price up to the $150 range. I expected this to be the Best. Whisky. Ever.
So it didn't quite live up to those expectations, but it is still a fine (if over-priced) drop. Surprisingly mellow and restrained for a Laphroaig, the peat plays only a minor role in this drink. Creamy vanilla and oak take front-stage, and on the nose one is reminded of pudding or custard. Really there is only a hint of peat on the nose (okay, a strong hint). In the mouth, Laphroaig 18 has good texture but not much flavor. Perhaps a touch herbal (mint?), but mostly vanilla and oak. This whisky is a lot like tea. A decent amount of peat finally pops through on the finish, which is nice and long, though a touch bitter.
Smooth, refined, and gentle. Which is really good, but not what I was hoping for from Laphroaig. Give me some more peat, or at least some sherry casks in there. 90 points (A-).
Other Laphroaig reviews:
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask
- Laphroaig 10
- Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength
- Head to head: Laphroaig Quarter Cask vs Laphroaig Cask Strength