Laphroaig, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, is launching a new no-age-statement expression called Lore. Its name is a nod to the traditions, tales and skills passed on from one master distiller to another during Laphroaig's two centuries.
At its launch last night, master distiller John Campbell explained that his aim with this liquid was to pick out the common denominators between all Laphroaigs, and what makes it 'rich' – as per the distillery's tagline as 'the most richly flavoured single malt'.
Campbell said a Lahproaig dram needs to be peaty, with medicinal and iodine notes, as well as fruity, floral and dry. 'In all the great Laphroaigs I've tasted there has been these four things,' he said. And they sure are apparent in Lore, which kicks off with some flowers before rich smoke takes over, with some added bitter chocolate and sea-salted fudge. The palate reveals more fruit, with oily sweetness but also a salty mineral element, and more of that dark chocolate, almost ground coffee character.
The whisky is made up of liquids aged between seven and 21 years, including seven-year-old whisky from first-fill sherry casks; nine-year-old double-matured whisky that's finished in European oak; a nine-year-old refill bourbon; and a 21yo first-fill bourbon cask.
When asked about Compass Box's campaign for transparency in the whisky industry, Campbell told Imbibe he did not know enough to have a position on it – but that when it comes to Laphroaig, he's very happy to share what's in the blend. 'If you had to write all that's in the liquid and all the legislation the bottle wouldn't be big enough,' he said. 'But I'm not against it. It's important for people to have a rough idea of what they're buying. They need to have an understanding of what's in the liquid and why it's in the liquid to understand the price. Once you tell people what's in it, they get it.'
Lore is bottled at 48%, and it's non chill-filtered nor coloured. Campbell said it sits between the 10yo and 25yo within the existing Laphroaig range.
Campbell also confirmed another whisky will be launched later this year, around October, this time with an age statement.
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