Since 1815, each Laphroaig Distillery Manager has been the custodian of the craft. Over the years, each has passed on their skills and traditions to the next generation to continue this legacy. To honour this passing of knowledge, current Distillery Manager John Campbell has created Laphroaig Lore. Lore, meaning the passing of a skill or tradition through word of mouth, is the story of how the craft has passed down from generation to generation over two centuries.
“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 our many generations of Laphroaig distillery managers,” said Campbell. “We make the whisky we make because of what has been passed on down to us. Lore is our story, bottled – the richest of the rich.”
‘Lore’ is a complex marriage of both classical Laphroaig styles and many ages of Laphroaig. The marriage draws from the peaty Laphroaig in the same vein as Quarter Cask but with double matured stock finished in European oak hogsheads. To add further depth and complexity Campbell selected the most heavily peated whisky matured in ex-Laphroaig barrels along with some fully sherry matured casks. To ensure none of this flavor was lost he chose to bottle Lore at 48% ABV.
Laphroaig Lore (96 proof)
Visual: Lemon gold.
Nose: Tons of peaty smoke (was there any doubt?) After the air clears, there is a toasty sweetness and grilled frankfurter essence.
Taste: Initially it is surprisingly smooth and the smoke seems reticent. But after a few seconds it begins to billow and fill the palate with an Islay slap. But, it never overwhelms and seems to almost be the kind of whisky that is designed to appeal to novices. The sherry barrel aging keeps things interesting and leaning in a more feminine direction than most Laphroaig releases.
Finish: Fairly long, with more of the sherry sweetness presenting than the smoke.
Overall: Very different, but still a welcome member to the family. It takes a bit of getting used to, but in the end, an honest and noble testament to the craft and distillery.
GSN Rating: B+
For more information go to: Laphroaig