So a few days ago I’m at my regular dramming buddy, Richard’s, place for a chat and a drink. While there, Richard’s wife, who is on her way home after visiting family abroad, FaceTimes him from the Duty Free shop so he can pick out his own gift bottle…
I shit you not!
Why the language, you ask? Well, my own wife was out of the country not so long ago and, despite my asking sweetly for a nice travel exclusive, she returned empty handed… Supposedly, “There just wasn’t time.”
Anyway, as Richard’s wife relayed the bottles she was considering through the magic of technology, I saw the Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr and secretly crossed my fingers that it would be Richard’s selection… I love Laphroaig! Fortunately for me, Richard has good taste, so I left the evening quite satisfied that I’d be sampling a lovely Islay before too long.
Tonight was the night!
This is a beautiful dram, all orangey-copper, with thick, fat legs, thanks to the 48% abv. The nose is amazing and I found myself enjoying the briny maritime notes and heavy peat for several minutes before finally giving in to take my first sip. On the palate, this whisky is unmistakably Laphroaig, with licorice and medicinal qualities along with that familiar sweet backbone of ripe red fruits. However, compared to other Laphroaig expressions I have tasted, this one seems far more silky, smoother and, actually, more sophisticated. I love me some Laphroaig 10 or Quarter Cask but this whisky is something different and special. There is a buttery, caramel and apricot-laden bourbon note (which will win me over every time) but there is also a rich, chewy fruitiness… Richard said figs but I thought it was dates. The finish is medium long and full of salty licorice, oak and honey, with a return of smouldering peat. A brilliant dram, Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr is delicious whisky!