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The Old Malt Cask's 14Yr Laphroaig

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The Old Malt Cask's 14Yr Laphroaig

Postby welshman » Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:18 pm

Last Sunday I cracked open a bottle of the Old Malt Cask's Laphroaig. It was labelled "August 2002 - Unchill Filtered - No Colouring - 50%". I've been enjoying regular Laphroaig 10Yr for a good few years - it's about the only thing that gets me through the long winter Sundays - but this stuff is some type of abhorration. It reeked of tomcat spay and match-heads, and the cardboard seal round the cap was stained teabrown like old women's teeth. I forced a couple of drams down me, but they didn't settle too well and in the end they saw the light of day once again and I washed them down the shitter with the rest of the blighted bottle.
Does anyone have anything positive to say about this tipple, or will I have to defect to another winter warmer?
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Postby r0b » Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:28 am

It seems to me you've got yourself a sulphured malt. Bad cask. I recently had the exact same experience (with a Glenfiddich 18).
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 11, 2004 5:36 pm

I presume this is the exact reason that Laphroaig is so reluctant to sell cask of whisky to independant bottlers. How trying the Laphroaig Cask Strength?
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 11, 2004 5:37 pm

I presume this is the exact reason that Laphroaig is so reluctant to sell cask of whisky to independant bottlers. How trying the Laphroaig Cask Strength?
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Postby r0b » Sun Apr 11, 2004 10:41 pm

Lawrence, I think you are partly right. Distilleries have no control over the whisky ones it's in the hands of independents and cannot guarantee quality. Still, the Laing brothers & Co ought to have the sense to not bottle it as a single malt. They're blenders and may have had use for it elsewhere.
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Postby Laphroaig » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:37 pm

Hmmm that's one added persective I had not considered. I personally thought that Laphroaig was reluctant to sell casks because of the possibility of the distillery bottlings being outshined.

The print on the Murray McDavid bottle of Leapfrog pretty much summed that thought up.

As for the Cask Strength Laphroaig, it's just my personal opinion but I tasted some last month at the Whisky Expo, and that was some of the best product I've tasted under the Laphroaig marquee in years. They need to get wise and hault the filtering on all bottlings! The people who are scared off by cloudiness should be banned from purchasing and thus adding water (or ice)! There, that solves that. :twisted: 8)

Jus kidding of course!
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Postby r0b » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:25 pm

Laphroaig wrote:As for the Cask Strength Laphroaig, it's just my personal opinion but I tasted some last month at the Whisky Expo, and that was some of the best product I've tasted under the Laphroaig marquee in years.


Amen to that! I love the CS, too. Jim Murray says Laphroaig is probably the malt that suffers the most from chill-filtration, and I won't argue with that after having the 10 and the 10 CS side by side.
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Postby Laphroaig » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:55 pm

r0b over the years I'd have to agree with JM's assessment! That's been my experience. The flipside is because they are restrictive it's been hard to prove this fact!

Which smacks of what I was saying. They are less likely concerned about how the I/B stores the product so much as they are worried that the I/B might expose their own storage and process flaws such as the difference between c/f and non c/f.

Handwriting is on the wall if you ask me. The CS Laphroaig proves it as you stated in case you haven't been fortunate enough to taste any other Laphroaig that hasn't been filtered! I have the same tendancy to gravitate towards Macallan's Cask strength too. When I break out the calculator and tally the final cost for what I taste compared to other bottlings of the same lines, I always seem to feel good about both these c/s offerings as better or best buys!
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Postby r0b » Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:11 am

I buy my whisky from German websites, and they charge app. 25 Euros for a Laph 10, and around 37 for a 10 CS. I always think the latter is the best buy of the two (still, the 10 is a high quality malt, how can it sell for such a relatively cheap price?). Recently I was graciously sent a sample of a Signatory Laphroaig 11 Yrs finished in port wood at 46 % NC. It's a *fantastic* dram even if it, as far as I can tell, didn't spend much time in the port pipe.

Ian Henderson said, tongue-in-cheek I suppose, that people who state the 15 year old as their favourite do so because they don't like the pungent and peaty 10. I wonder, did he not refer to the CS? ;)

However, just the other day I opened a bottle of the 40 % and was positively surprised. It was not at all as flat and dull as the bottle I bought a year ago. Much better, but still miles away from the CS.
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:10 pm

I've tasted the OB Laphroaig 10, Cask Strength, 15 year old and the 30 year and they are all excellent, Laphroaig is my top malt along with Aberlour. I've also taste the MMCD Leapfrog, SMWS Laphroaig (new oak) and some other independants and I have never tasted one that was really up to the standard of the official bottling. I think Laphroaig is simply best when it comes in the Offical Distillery bottling. I do admit that my tastings of independant bottlings is limited but the overall selection has been a disappointment. Ian Henderson once told me thta Laphroaig is best when matured in bourbon casks from Jack Daniels and I 've come to believe he's correct.
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Postby Laphroaig » Sun Apr 18, 2004 3:00 am

That's interesting. I've heard of a distillery or two purchasing whole barrels (Laphroaig not being one of them). Generally I understood that bourbon barrels are disassembled by each stave, shipped to Scotland and then the mixed staves are reassembled to make complete barrels (casks) again. Unless they ONLY purchased materials used for Jack Daniels, it would seem hard to state this as fact.

Also I wonder about the use of the term Bourbon Cask. Jack Daniels by law is not capable of referring to it's whisky as bourbon. It's Tennessee whisky by definition. But who knows.
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:49 am

Well it's bourbon style whiskey and the tops of the barrels said Jack Daniels and there were hundreds of them. I have the photographs to prove it. Ian henderso was very specific about bourbon wood from jack Daniels and remember they are the same company along with Dunkin Donuts.
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Postby Aidan » Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:37 am

The whisky could have been corked. A small percentage of whisky sold with a cork goes off because of infection.

It could be just a bad whisky either.

Ultimately, the cork adds nothing to the whisky but gives the impression that it's more exclusive.
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Corking

Postby welshman » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:59 pm

Thanks for all your help on this topic. It would really break my heart to turn my back on a distiller whose whisky I've been enjoying for years.
I fell victim to corking on a bottle of Glenlivet a while back. I had picked up a bottle of 12 year, and when I got it home I noticed that the cork was shot through with brown and black and was really spongy and whisky-logged. The scotch itself smelled decidedly off.
But. The bottle of Laphroaig I started this thread about was sealed with a black plastic lid, and I remember checking it for cracks and pinpricks but there were none.
Is it possible there was some type of reaction between the plastic and the spirit? Is there such a phrase as "plasticked"?
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Postby r0b » Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:47 pm

I'm just about convinced it's from a bad cask, not the cork.
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