Laphroaig Live 2014
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the Laphroaig Live 2014 event in Stockholm. Laphroaig Live is an annual event, where Laphroaig does a live "TV show" streaming online to tens of thousands of viewers. They present new whiskies and news from the distillery, and interact with the huge number of fans they have world wide. Last year Laphroaig Live was held in New York, this year the event was held in Stockholm. Well, it was sort of in Stockholm, but actually on a small island called Fjäderholmarna, which we reached by a 25 minute boat ride from the Stockholm city center.
Once we arrived we were presented with a fantastic cocktail, really one of the best I have had. Madeleine Solo Rapp, who won the Bartender of the Year 2013 award in last years Swedish Bartender's Choice Awards, had created a drink consisting of maker's mark, Laphroaig Select, buckthorn juice, a honey and simple syrup mix and freshly squeezed lemons. Lovely stuff!
Then the preparations for the actual live show started. We were about 40 people in the audience, and we were instructed on how to behave during the show. Nothing serious, just simple stuff like 'stay in your seats', 'please do not boo too loudly' etc.
During the show there was a panel discussing the four whiskies we were served. On the panel where the following distinguished people:
- John Campbell, distillery master at Laphroaig
- Peter Borg, vice chairman Swedish Whisky Association
- Nour el Refai, comedian, TV personality, radio presenter and overall interested in whisky
- Håkan Dahlberg, founder of the immensely popular whisky blog I Love Whisky
John Campbell and Vicky Stevens from Laphroaig shared a few interesting news with us. Apparently we can look forward to (at least?) 6-7 new Laphroaig whiskies next year. In 2015 the distillery will celebrate its 200 year anniversary. They will bring back the Laphroaig 15, and there will be a special 21 YO release to celebrate that the Friends of Laphroaig (FoL) turns 21. The rest is a big secret for now.
We were served a selection of very tasty finger food, which went really well with the whisky. The whiskies we were served were:
- Laphroaig Select, 40 % (see review)
- Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014, 51,4 % (see review)
- Laphroaig 12 YO, 48 % - this is a new release for the Nordic countries only, release later this year I will review this whisky in more detail shortly. I was good though; bonfire smoke, honey, salt, oranges, and a dry finish.
- Laphroaig 18 YO, 48 % (see review - in Norwegian)
If you did not get a chance to catch the live streaming yesterday, the show will be available for on demand streaming in a few days from the Laphroaig website. Looking forward to seeing it myself!
Laphroaig Live 2015 will be streaming from Islay, with the big anniversary that is the perfect setting for the next show.
Sláinte! - Thomas