Review: Laphroaig 6 years old - Good Spirits Co. 58.3%
It's no secret that peated malts are my preferred choice when it comes to picking out a dram – especially if they've been stuck in an old bourbon barrel for a few years. I need to be really in the mood for sherry matured whisky - usually around Christmas time - and red wine matured/finished whisky leaves me cold and with a nasty taste in my mouth... literally.
So when my local drinks emporium The Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow had this feisty young Laphroaig bottled specially for them by the team at The Creative Whisky Co, I didn't have to be asked twice.
I've tried a few shop-only bottles from the Glasgow-based store - including the excellent Mogwai Rockact81W back in January 2014 (!) - and they've all been magic. And this belter is no exception. It's not particularly complex, but when I need to top up my peat levels, a little drop of this goes a long way.
Lemony, briny peat assaults the old nostrils right off the bat, but there's also a drop of creamy vanilla and a big bag of old-fashioned barley sugars. Rock pools full of salty seawater and soaking seaweed are also to the fore. And, yes - I have stuck my nose into rock pools, so there!
There's something dark and earthy lurking at the back and even a dollop of barbecue sauce! I even get a little whiff of Pritt Stick and liquoricey fennel! It smells divine and I feel like dabbing it behind my ears! Lovely.
A small sip reveals a wonderful sweetness which quickly transitions to a nice dab of sourness, before massive waves of chalky, minty peat take over. I'm also tasting some roast ham that's been dropped on hot, dusty, coals. Is there some honey in here? Maybe just a touch.
The finish is dry and almost takes the breath away. Fisherman's Friends have nothing on this! It's a peat monster and no mistake. The smoke continues along with that chalky, mineral note and the peat taste is guaranteed to last the rest of the night and into the morning - even after brushing your teeth.
This is a magnificent dram and I'm just sorry I didn't buy a second bottle. It sold at a great price, too.
Just for the record, the bottle is from a single cask and my number is 299/305. There's even little specs of wood from the barrel swirling around what remains of the liquid.... like a festive Islay peat globe! If you look closely at the picture above, you might spot a few of them!