Last in our Bombay Malt & Cigar Scotch Malt Whisky Society evening was “Moonlight night at the beach” where we finally, firmly entered into the land of peat – Islay style!
29.216 “Moonlight night at the beach” 20 year (26 Nov 1996) 51.9%
Islay, Virgin Oak Hogsead 293 bottles
- Nose – Well hello peat! Then as it settled in, revealed citrus, summer meadow, bitter ash, sweet then sour, chocolate cinnamon, bitter almond, then back to ash, shifting between sweet and smoke
- Palate – First hit of ash, the 2nd sip was pure sweet, further sips found it to be quite chewy, curiously soft and became increasingly gorgeous as it opened, nice, heavy and almost oily
- Finish – Sweet cinnamon, long and satisfying
The whisky was wonderfully complex. Peaty but not in an overly forceful way – clearly a mature dram.
And with water….
- Nose – Citrus, lemon drops, orange, embers rather than a raging fire, sweetness, spice
- Palate – Young cigar, bitter, wet…
- Finish – More linear but still most enjoyable
And as it continued to open up, took on a delicious maple bacon. Mmm…. bacon…
Of all the whiskies we sampled in our SMWS evening, this one was unmistakable – a clear Laphroaig! Not of the current mass market “hit me over the head peat” but a mature, much more nuanced older style Laphroaig. And yes – our guess was spot on.
Here is what the SMWS folks have to say:
The scent made us all feel very cosy and warm; baked chocolate marshmallow apples, a steaming creamy bowl of porridge and gingery plum cake. To taste, crunchy, chewy and crispy skin salmon crackling at first before sweet flavours arrived in the form of honey cured hickory smoked bacon. With water we made a campfire on the beach out of driftwood under a moonlit sky and ate sugar coated fennel seeds and chocolate covered coffee beans both infused with a gentle sweet peat smoke. Nineteen years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished in a virgin oak hogshead with a heavy toast and a medium char.