Review: Laphroaig Lore
“The most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies.” “A stunningly complex expression.” “The story of how we make Laphroaig, encapsulating the skills that have been passed down from generation to generation for over two centuries.”
Laphroaig doesn’t beat around the bush when describing Laphroaig Lore, its newest limited edition release from the peat-filled island of Islay.
Lore is heavy on superlatives but short on actual production information. What is known is that it is a “marriage of classical Laphroaig styles and many ages of Laphroaig; some as old as vintage 1993.” What that means is that Lore is essentially a vatting of a wide range of Laphroaig casks, including including “double matured first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels followed by virgin European Oak, first-fill Oloroso Sherry butts, first-fill and refill quarter casks, and refill ex-Laphroaig stock.”
So, you can take a shot of every bottle of Laphroaig in your collection and mix it up… or try this.
The results are quite good, completely in line with some of Laphroaig’s best expressions.
The nose is loaded with classic and heavy peat notes, all iodine, seaweed, and beachside fire pit. The sweetness lies beneath, taking the form of green banana, tangerine, and some scorched cloves.
On the palate, things start off as expected, with dense and sticky-smoky-sweet peat over everything. Quite a bit of that fruit comes through — primarily sherry-driven citrus notes, backed up by notes of sugar cookies, lemongrass, and lots of salty brine. The finish is big, bold, and lengthy, gripping the palate for ages. All the stuff of classic Laphroaig, just a bit outsized in comparison to standard expressions.
Lore doesn’t reinvent the wheel (Laphroaig would likely argue that it merely rediscovers it), but it’s not one that was in need of reinvention in the first place.