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90 points

Laphroaig 18 year old, 48%

Very smooth for Laphroaig -- the extra aging has mellowed this whisky. Soothing honeyed malt, creamy vanilla, and toffee provide a bed for peat smoke, charcoal, and tar; along with more subtle brine, smoked seaweed, anise, ginger, and citrus. A gentler, creamier, more tactile, less medicinal Laphroaig when compared to some of its siblings. Will you prefer the new 18 year old to the 15 year old it is replacing? That depends. I enjoy the balance and subtle complexity of flavors with the 15 year old, but I also like the enhanced richness and mouth-coating creaminess of the 18. The higher strength (and no chill-filtering) of the 18 is certainly a bonus. (Side note: I know this is a moot point now, but I would like to have seen the 15 year old bottled at 48%, rather than 43%.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2009)