About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Friday, 10 January 2014


As a warm up for a tasting I'm doing this coming Saturday, January 11th, I'll be reviewing a Laphroaig... and the upcoming tasting, you ask?

Laphroaig Càirdeas 2008-2013.... A report will, of course, be on this website a little later.

Laphroaig is one the distilleries that uses stainless steel washback for fermentation. There are of course more out there, on Islay there's Kilchoman and elsewhere Glenfarclas and BenRiach distilleries, but also Pulteney and Scapa also springs to mind, both having corten and stainless steel washbacks.

So does fermentation on stainless or corten steel washbacks produce a different wash than wooden washbacks? More and more goes towards it being inconclusive. Some would argue wooden washbacks holds natural bacteria that adds more flavour during the fermentation process and some argue that wooden washbacks are only in use as they are the traditional vessel used for fermentation. Other arguments against wood is that they're difficult to clean and likely to leak/crack if not maintained properly. The only 'proper' argument against stainless steel washbacks is the one of the natural bacteria, but its never AFAIK been proved.... but still we all like those wooden ones, right? Looks more pretty when you visit ;-) (some argument, LOL ;-) )

You just have to make up your own mind :-)

Now onto the review... this time a mature Laphroaig, bottled by German cult bottler 'The Whisky Agency'. This one is done in their sub-series 'The Perfect Dram'.

Stainless steel washback at Laphroaig, behind that the stainless steel mashtun, May 5th 2011 © The Malt Desk
Laphroaig 1990 20yo, 56,3%, ex-bourbon cask, 237 bottles, The Perfect Dram with Bresser & Timmer

Colour is full straw

Very sweet on vanilla, sweet peat too with a very mellow edge of seaweed and all things seashore... even hints of warm apple and cold smoky danish charcuterie. Not very expressive, but the things that are there are nice...

Hello! :-O What this one lacked on the nose it makes up for on the palate. Very smoky! and a malt creamy edge -  almost honey creamy. more vanilla, citrus, peat bog and burned leaves, salty and seaweedy. I can imagine this would be what a cigarette rolled with dry seaweed, seaside moss and peat would taste like!

This is very nice - and the complete opposite of the sometime young brutish Laphroaigs we see out there...  but we love those too, don't we? ;-)


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