Laphroaig 32 YO
Laphroaig 32 YO, 46,6 %
The 200th Anniversary releases from Laphroaig keep coming. I have previously reviewed the Laphroaig 15 YO 200th Anniversary, the Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015 and the Laphroaig 21 YO Friends of Laphroaig. Now the time has come for the most exclusive of the lot, the Laphroaig 32 YO.
This whisky has been matured in a mix of 1st fill and refill sherry casks. It was bottled in May 2015, at a cask strength of 46.6 % ABV. A total of 5880 bottles were released (although I do see 6000 also mentioned online).
The Laphroaig 32 YO actually also contains a few 34 YO old casks as well, which means the spirit was distilled under two previous distillery managers at Laphroaig; Denis Nicol and Murdo Reed. This makes for a historical whisky indeed, fitting for the 200th Anniversary.
I believe a total of about 27 bottles reached Sweden and sold out immediately a few days ago at SEK 9499! I am told four bottles will be released in Norway on Friday November 6, and I expect the price to be close to the one in Sweden. It was sold at GBP 625 in the UK, but appears to be sold out most places now.
Nose (23/25): Light and delicate. Certainly no peat monster. Do not approach this whisky expecting a 'typical' Laphroaig. This is a much older and more delicate creature than it's younger siblings. The peat is hardly noticeable on the nose. I find dried fruits, soft caramel and sherry notes, and hints of vanilla. It is quite complex - hard to pick out very clear individual aromas really. But it does smell delightful!
Taste (22/25): More peaty to taste, bordering on chewy. The nicely integrated peat smoke mixes very well with the rich sherry sweetness and soft spices. Caramel, toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, light leather notes, and a touch of salt and iodine.
Finish (21/25): Long finish that dries up. More oaky now - bordering on a bit much for me. Menthol and eucalyptus notes. Light peat (dry smoke), honey-like sweetness and something slightly metallic.
Balance (22/25): This really is a good dram, but falls a little bit short on the finish for me. The price is also way too stiff, but I have not adjusted my score because of price.
Sláinte! - Thomas