Dream Drams – Mortlach 1976, Lochside 1981, Mosstowie 1979, Aultmore 2007

There are tasting experiences that collectively push the bar to a completely different level.

On this particular monsoon evening in Mumbai with Malt Maniac’s Krishna Nakula, none were standard distillery drams. All but one would qualify as ‘adult‘ whiskies, representative of an older style… From Gordon & MacPhail‘s rare old collection  of closed distilleries to Signatory Vintage‘s mature cask strength set to a unique Master of Malt single cask series, these were no ordinary single malts.

These were the drams that dreams are made of… prompting a few of us wonder… are we truly worthy?

What did we sample?

You will simply need to be patient over the coming weeks as I catch up with all the marvellous malts enjoyed. Trust me… it will be worth the wait.

And a HUUUUGE thank you to our host, whisky contributors who made such an exceptional evening possible! You know who you are.

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Stunning Laphroaig 21 year 53.4%

My first Bombay Malt & Cigar evening closed with this whisky… by that point note taking was not happening, instead it was pure unadulterated enjoyment of a cigar with an exceedingly fine dram.

So what a treat to revisit this whisky to close our September miniatures evening!


Laphroaig 21 year (2008) 53.4%

Bottle 18 of 750 (Heathrow T5)

  • Nose – Initially tar, burnt rubber, bacon, hickory yet all much more subtle than your standard Laphroaig, rich and fruity, slightly subdued but in a wonderful way that enabled other elements like orange peel, walnuts butter, a warm spicy quality, sense of being both mellow and fresh, lovely interplay of sea salt, toffee, citrus, nuts, mint, smoke and more…
  • Palate – Exactly as promised, beautifully mellow, smooth and sweet… a dampness and refined peat… none of the typical Laphroaig swagger, this instead was elegant with a light touch rather than heavy hand, soft spices balancing perfectly with peat, gorgeous harmony between all the different elements
  • Finish – Steevious plant sweet, honeysuckle, simply superb as it was deliciously long
  • Water – Much preferred this beauty neat!

Overall this whisky was in a different league… an absolute stunner!

I will admit to being a bit surprised to read on the label a recommendation to add TWICE the amount of water as whisky to truly appreciate the character as “whisky at cask strength may overpower the palate but adding water will release the unique flavour of this limited-edition Laphroaig.”

Seems like it would drown the nuance and range…laphroaig-21-year-t5

I did a bit more digging to discover this particular bottle last sold for approx $2,250. It had two editions – 750 bottles for the UK and 1427 for the US travel retail market. It was also known as the “T5” Laphroaig as it was created by distillery manager John Campbell to commemorate the opening of Terminal 5 (T5) at Heathrow Airport, London in 2008. While further details were not disclosed, it was said to be a ‘marriage’ of 9 casks.

The owner indeed picked this bottle up at the newly opened T5 Heathrow Airport… Back in 2008, he was in the height of his peaty loving phase, so acquiring a special edition Laphroaig wasn’t a difficult decision.

What was more remarkable was hanging on to it for almost 8 years, carefully kept aside.

And for this kind and considerate act, we were ever so grateful!

Here’s what others have to say about this dram:

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