Aged for over a quarter of a century, this whisky earned a score of 95 points from Whisky Advocate.
In 1815, Donald and Alexander Johnston began leasing nearly 1,000 acres of land on the island of Islay. Their intent was to raise and sell cattle on the land and as a result, they began growing barley to be used as feed for their livestock. Following a particularly bountiful harvest, the brothers distilled the excess grains they had grown into whisky, and sold it to the inhabitants of the island. Soon thereafter, the brothers found it more profitable to distill whisky than to raise cattle, and Laphroaig (pronounced La-froyg) Distillery was born.
For over a century, the distillery would remain in the hands of one of Johnston's descendants. In 1954, however, Ian Hunter passed away childless and bequeathed the distillery to Bessie Williamson, a secretary that had been working at the distillery for two decades. Hunter was incredibly protective of the distillery — while he slowly revealed its secrets to Williamson after she had earned his trust, Hunter prevented a cooper who was employed at the distillery from publishing his memoirs because they described the workings of the distillery in too great a detail.
Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky is one of the most flavorful and intense whiskies made anywhere in the world. During Prohibition, it was one of the few whiskies still legally imported into the United States, as it was considered a medicinal spirit. Laphroaig Single Malt is made from the finest Scottish barley, which is then malted at the distillery and smoked over a peat flame. Unlike other distilleries which source peat from the Scottish mainland, the peat used to smoke Laphroaig barley is made from the heather, mosses and lichens of Islay and adds a distinct iodine-like flavor to the whisky. After the barley has been malted and peated, it is fermented before being twice-distilled through Laphroaig's copper-pot stills. The unique stills have an usually flat base and flat surfaces, which contributes to the overall intensity of the whisky.
Laphroaig 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is aged for a minimum of 25 years in a combination of European oak casks that were previously used to mature Oloroso sherry and American oak casks that were previously used to mature bourbon. In addition, the maturing casks of whisky are laid to rest in the distillery's warehouses, which are situated along the shores of Loch Laphroaig. As a result, the whisky is imbued with a slightly salty tang that compliments the whisky's notes of dried fruits, cinnamon, and smoky peat. Once the whisky has matured for a minimum of 25 years, it is bottled at cask strength.
Laphroaig 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky was awarded the Gold Medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, where it was named "Best in Class." In addition, it earned a score of 95 points from Whisky Advocate, which said that the whisky "brilliantly fuses two different styles of whisky into a single, remarkable experience."
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97.2 (48.6% ABV)
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Hints of sweet fruits, cherries and sherry in the aroma. Notes of fruit carry forward to the palate, and are complemented by salty tang, baking and pepper spices and a subtle peaty undertone. The finish is intense yet gentle, with notes of smoke accented by a touch of sweet, creamy vanilla.