The prestigious launch to invited guests at London’s famous Connaught Hotel coincides with the distillery’s 200th anniversary.
Distillery manager, John Campbell, the first native Islay man to make the famously peaty whisky, conducted a tasting by way of curtain-raiser for the £750 (circa US$1,400, €1,020), 46.6% abv cask strength expression.
He told the intimate audience that there are only 6,000 bottles available worldwide and all had been allocated. He opened by calling it a “big peaty slap in the face.”
Owners Beam Suntory and distributors Maxxium claim Laphroaig is the number one best-selling Islay single malt scotch whisky in the world.
The 32-year-old expression, which was non chill filtered with no added colouring, was matured in first-fill ex-Oloroso casks. Campbell said most of the whiskies were 35 years old-plus.
Campbell went on the describe it as: “Red fruits, toffee, dates, meaty - bacon fat, fruity: apricots. Then licorice and a saltiness.” He concluded by calling it “smacky and chewy, with sweet, smoky and salty flavours - not dry (he hates ‘dry’).”