Interesting new release from the world of Laphroaig today. Laphroaig Select. A new generally available release which is said to merge several styles of maturation in this new expression, presented with no adding colouring (excellent), and give a new spin on the classic malt. Heres the information received today from Distiller Manager John Campbell:
Today, I am proud to talk to you about our next global expression. Laphroaig Select. It is aptly named as it is the special selection of casks we have chosen for maturation that gives it it’s unique character. Like Quarter Cask, the inspiration forLaphroaig Select comes from our past, but this time from around 70 years ago. This was the time of the last – and perhaps greatest family owner, Ian Hunter (1886-1954).
Ian was one of, if not the first, Scottish distiller to visit the bourbon distilleries in Kentucky and study their maturation techniques. He saw and tasted the effects of American ‘White oak’ barrels on their whisky. Up until then Laphroaig, like other distilleries, sourced 100% of its barrels from Europe which gave a far sweeter ‘sherried’ style of Laphroaig than anyone would recognise today. He arranged for a selection of these barrels to be shipped to Scotland to mature Laphroaig in this ‘new style white wood’ oak barrel. By the late 1940’s we see a brand new style of Laphroaig begin to emerge. One that contained a selection of both ‘new’ American and ‘traditional’ European oak matured whisky.
A few years ago I started to experiment with Ian’s maturation techniques using different American Bourbon and European Sherry barrels. I was not trying to ‘copy’ the exact taste Ian produced back then, but to create a new style of Laphroaig that would resonate with your tastes, the Laphroaig drinkers of today. I created 6 different expressions, then ‘taste tested’ these with many you – the Friends of Laphroaig, to discover which was the most popular. We even researched the potential names with you too, you may have been one of them – ‘Laphroaig Select’ is the winning flavour and name.
So how does Laphroaig Select taste and when can I get it?
COLOUR: A Fully Natural colour with no caramel added, it is sparkling gold with layers of colour – arising from different maturations and oils mixing together.
NOSE: Peat first, then ripe red fruits from the PX and Olorosso casks. A hint of dryness next from the American oak with a long lingering florally finish – Marzipan and even limes at the end.
PALATE: This full bodied whisky is initially sweet up front- matching the nose, then the classic dry, peaty, ashy flavours come bounding in followed by a lovely rich finish arising from the rich fruits of the European casks.
Since so many of you have asked for it – Laphroaig Select contains no caramel colouring! I think it’s a fantastic addition to our core range. It is a complex whisky to make, so we will be rolling it out slowly over the next 12 months. The first countries who are receiving it are Australia (where it will be called Select Cask), Germany, Italy and the UK. It will start appearing in your local shops this month.
Intersting sounding stuff. Will be writing about this one as soon as I get a taste. In fact, going to try and do a bit of a parallel tasting, with Laproaig Select, the classic Laphroaig 10 year old, Laproaig Quarter Cask and 10 Year old Cask Strength. Yummm! 🙂
See my review of Laphroaig Cairdeas Port Wood.