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Laphroaig Has Brought Back It’s 18-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky

Laphroaig Has Brought Back It’s 18-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky

Laphroaig Has Brought Back It’s 18-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky

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When it comes to heavily peated, super smoky single malt scotch whisky, there is one brand that you will find at virtually every bar and liquor store around the nation: Laphroaig. This Islay distillery, owned by Suntory Global Spirits (formerly Beam Suntory), just added three new expressions to its incredibly popular range of single malts, including the return of the fan favorite 18-year-old.

There are some much older whiskies in the Laphroaig portfolio, but the core expression is the classic 10-year-old, an intensely smoky single malt that is aged in ex-bourbon barrels which even diehard Laphroaig stans describe as tasting like a tire and seaweed fire doused in iodine. Of course, there is much more to the palate than that, and many of these flavors are amplified in the 18-year-old expression which just returned after a nearly decade-long absence. This whisky was also matured in ex-bourbon casks, but those extra eight years imbues the smoky liquid with, according to the tasting notes, flavors like leather, seaweed, orange, honey, ginger, and tobacco.

Another whisky that marks its return is the annual Cairdeas release. This series started in 2008 and is initially available exclusively to the Friends of Laphroaig club before becoming available to the general public. The maturation makeup of this whisky changes every year, and the 2024 edition, called Cask Favorites, is said to be a tribute to two past releases: 2019’s Triple Wood and 2021 PX Cask. The latter was aged in bourbon barrels, quarter casks, and Pedro Ximenez sherry hogsheads; the former was matured in bourbon barrels, then put into quarter casks, and finally aged in European oak Oloroso sherry casks. Cask Favorites is a 10-year-old whisky that combines these elements, initially aging in “over-charred” first and second-fill ex-bourbon barrels and quarter casks before getting a PX sherry cask finish. That translates to a deep and dark whisky with notes of marmalade and ginger on the nose, followed by grape candy, spice, dark berries, caramelized brown sugar, and of course intense smokiness on the palate. And at 52.4 percent ABV, this is a dram that a few drops of water suits well.

The newest addition to the lineup is Elements 2.0, the second release in the Elements series that launched last year. The point of this whisky is to experiment with distillation techniques, according to the brand, and the focus for this new whisky was on fermentation. That is the process during which yeast is added to the mash to create alcohol, not to mention a whole lot of flavor, before distillation. The usual fermentation time for Laphroaig is 55 hours, but this was pushed up to a total of 115 hours to emphasize fruity notes while keeping the smokiness intact. Official tasting notes describe green apples, honey, cream soda, and soft peat of a smoldering bonfire and smoked seafood on the palate.

Elements 2.0 (SRP $165) and Cairdeas 2024 (SRP $110) are available to preorder now from ReserveBar. The 18-year-old (SRP $190) might be a bit harder to find, but check your local speciality liquor stores or online retailers to see if they have it in stock.

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Laphroaig Has Brought Back It’s 18-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky

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