Laphroaig traditions inspire rich new whisky

Laphroaig Lore whisky

Laphroaig has released a whisky inspired by the traditions and tales passed down through the generations by its master distillers since 1815.

Laphroaig Lore has been crafted by the current distillery manager John Campbell, drawing whiskies from a variety of casks including first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, quarter casks and ex-oloroso sherry hogsheads.

The resulting liquid, at 48% ABV, is described as the “world’s most richly flavoured single malt”, which is richly peaty with a spicy chilli bite on the palate with a short dry finish and a long sweet aftertaste.

John said: “Over the generations, distillery managers like me have made their own contributions to the quality and character of Laphroaig. From the founding of Laphroaig, these custodians have each made their own mark, whether it was drying the malting barley at lower temperatures than most, using two sizes of spirit still, pioneering the use of ex-bourbon barrels, or reintroducing the quarter cask to scotch whisky-making.

“Each of these decisions has made Laphroaig the unique, premium whisky it is today. We make the whisky we make because of what has been passed on down to us.”

The Laphroaig lore dates back to around 1800 when brothers Alexander and Donald Johnston invented and crafted a recipe for an extraordinarily rich single malt – before the Laphroaig distillery officially existed in 1815.

The recipe was further developed and refined in the 1920s by Laphroaig distillery manager Ian Hunter, who pioneered the use of ex-bourbon casks.

Further chapters to the Laphroaig story were added by the 20th century’s only female scotch whisky distiller, Bessie Williamson, and by luminaries such as Iain Henderson.

The latest release’s name is based on the definition of “lore” as “a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth”.

John added: “Laphroaig Lore is the story of Laphroaig itself. It’s a massive whisky, as bold as it is deep, and one that I sincerely hope does justice to the many generations of Laphroaig distillery managers. It’s our story, bottled, the richest of the rich.”

Distributed by Maxxium UK, it has a recommended price at retail of £85 per 70cl bottle.

Tasting notes by Laphroaig
Colour: Deep mahogany.
Nose: Rich and smoky with seaside minerals and a hint of ash and bitter chocolate drops. Vanilla follows with oily unroasted chestnuts and a hint of fudge with a malty sweetness. A drop of water adds a creamy clotted cream note with fruit appearing in the form of unripe citrus in a flan glaze.
Palate: Richly peaty with a spicy chilli bite.
Finish: Short dry finish and a long sweet aftertaste.

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