By Emma Briones
Laphroaig is one of the icons of Islay. After just over 200 years of making whisky, they’ve released in 2016 this new expression of their core range: Laphroaig Lore. This new release is supposed to be, according to the distillery, “the richest of the rich.”
Laphroaig Lore is a NAS whisky, created by Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell. The story behind this new expression is that it honors the tradition and the story of how Laphroaig malts are made. “Lore” refers to the passing of a skill or tradition through word of mouth and encapsulates the craft passed down from generation to generation over two centuries.
According to Campbell, this vatted whisky includes malts from 7 to 21 years old. It has been matured in a mix of first-fill bourbon barrels, Quarter Casks and Oloroso hogsheads. Laphroaig Lore has been bottled at a relatively high 48% ABV (96 proof).
The whisky is light gold in the glass. On the nose is fresh, with a gentle touch of peat smoke. There are also notes of honey and orange blossom, and a sweet hint of apples and dark chocolate.
On the palate is slightly oily and with a medium body. It starts with smoky peat, to continue with sweet creamy notes, dried fruits and a little hint of chocolate. Then it explodes and becomes spicy, with a touch of chilli.
The finish is quite long and spicy, with faint peat smoke notes.
This is not your classic peated Laphroaig, as it is smooth and sweet. Instead, Laphroaig Lore is a lighter and spicier whisky that other expressions of their core range, and beautifully balanced. The icing on the cake is the chili bite at the end of the dram, that continues in the aftertaste.