Laphroaig Select is a maddening combination of whisky. The core scotch is regular Laphroaig aged in previously used American bourbon barrels, that's been"finished" for six months in brand new American oak barrels. The distillery then blended this whisky with other whiskies to create six different single malts. The Laphroaig fan club, Friends of Laphroaig, selected the winning blend from the six to create the Select.
This single malt scotch is a gentler beast, though still a beast. Tasted alone, it is Laphroaig through-and-through. Tasted among Laphroaig's other releases, it is tame. It works nicely as a gentle sibling to Laphroaig Quarter Cask, which I'd never recommend to new whisky drinkers. I could, though, recommend Laphroaig Select to new whisky drinkers. But does this makes Laphroaig Select a good whisky for Laphroaig drinkers?
For all that's been done to Laphroaig Select (Quarter Cask, PX barrels, Triple Wood), the complexity doesn't entirely come through. The new oak overshadows much of what we might expect. Still, it's a fine whisky that's going to please a crowd that's never had Laphroaig. I just wouldn't be serving this to a Laphroaig die-hard scotch drinker. They won't be happy.
Peated, Single Malt Scotch, NAS
Nose: Smoky iodine, caramel that has been left at the bottom of the pan just a touch burnt, a lemon picked too soon, and ginger.
Palate: Lots of lighter flavors, with ginger, sweetened freshly squeezed lemon juice, and beautiful butter notes.
Whisky Cabinet Score: ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Surprisingly ordinary scotch for a Laphroaig. Saying that, this is an affordable sipper from the distillery and in direct contrast to Quarter Cask. I love Quarter Cask far more, but I also can't recommend it to anyone but peat drinkers. Laphroaig Select is a gentler whisky to introduce new drinkers to the Laphroaig line-up.
*Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original
Disclaimer: Thank you to Laphroaig for sending me a sample of Laphroaig Select. This had no affect on my review.