Review: Laphroaig Lore

When you have a look back at your life, and you zoom in on the period between your 7th and 21st birthday, you’ll find that many highlights have come and gone. Perhaps you’ll recall your first day of high school, a school play you starred in back at elementary, the first time you fell in love, or perhaps the first time you ever tasted whisky (this is a whisky blog after all). One thing I know for certain, is that there will be plenty of stories to tell.

At Laphroaig they decided that with the Lore they wanted to capture a spirit, that tells stories of their distillery. To do just that they blended whiskies that have been aged for at least 7 years, and no more than 21. And like we’ve already established, that’s a period with a lot of stories to tell.

They also chose to age their spirit in five different cask types, including ex-Bourbon barrels, quarter casks, and Oloroso butts. Which each gives its own extra dimension, to an already infinitely interesting dram.

So, let’s have a look at those stories, that happen at Laphroaig distillery in a 14-year span.

Tasting Notes: Laphroaig Lore

Stats:

ABV: 48% (96 proof)

Age: NAS (a blend of casks with ages between 7 and 21)

Distillery: Laphroaig Distillery

Owned by: Beam Suntory

Category: Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Awards: IWSC Silver (2017, 2019), International Spirits Challenge Silver (2019)

Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: No

Setting:

I’ve had a great day at work, and in the knowledge that after tomorrow I’ll have two weeks off I find myself in an excellent mood. I went for a walk with the dogs earlier and spotted some beautiful old wood and I instantly thought it would make a great contrast with the green, white and black of a bottle of Laphroaig Lore. And thus, today the review of this particular dram. I poured it neat into a perfect dram glass, and I’m ready for the enjoyment to begin.

Nose:

If you’re going into this dram expecting to find a resemblance with the orginal 10, you’re going to find yourself surprised. The nose on the Lore is much lighter, than its 10-year-old counterpart. The smoke is still there – it’s a Laphroaig after all – but it’s wonderfully worked into a coherent nose of chestnuts and old hardwood furniture. It’s complex, but it fits together wonderfully. Some honeyed tea also comes to mind, as I give the nose another go.  After a few drops of water, a savoury note also starts to shine through, which reminds me of pork chops. The notes are still all captured into a single essence though. Wonderfully done.

Palate:

The chestnut from the nose is the first thing that pops up, but the dram evolves very fast after that. A citrus note (lemon) flies over the tongue, that quickly – as if by magic – turns into nutmeg and pepper. There’s brine, and a savoury note reminiscent of fresh peppered steak. Right before swallowing oak bark coats the tongue and the peat begins its roar. A drop of water seems to add a thin layer of honey to the palate that comes and goes as you spread it around the tongue. It’s very subtle though.

Finish:

Thank the whisky gods, the finish is long. Because I simply can’t get enough of this dram. It’s very long, but also consistent. This is not a finish that really changes over time, the notes of hazelnuts, peat smoke, and citrus, just slowly fade over time. On the sides of the tongue a hint of dark chocolate bitterness clings pleasantly and on the roof of the mouth there’s an almost minty note. It’s almost like an After Eight chocolate (that last longer than a full box of them usually does around my house). A drop of water turns down the bitterness a little. If you don’t like extra dark chocolate – but you do appreciate the regular kind – adding some water to this dram might be the thing for you.

Verdict:

This is a wonderful dram and personally I think it’s a prime example of the shortcomings that age-statements have sometimes. If Laphroaig would have put an age statement on this bottle, it would have had to been 7-year-old. But that age-statement does not do this whisky justice. The combination of younger and older spirit just works so wonderful in the Lore. And if you take into consideration that I bought my bottle for roughly 70 euro, I think there’s amazing value in this dram. When you drink this, the mastercraft that went into it is almost tangible. To make such a wide array of flavours into such a coherent dram, is (in my opinion) a true testament of the skill of Laphroaig’s master distillers. I can wholeheartedly recommend giving this bottle a try!

Rating:

92/100

Value:

B

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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