Laphroaig 20 Year Old "Sovereign Wax Top - K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1418351

It has been a bit since we've had a single cask of Laphroaig and even longer since we've had one this old. From Laing's excellent late '90s stock, we lucked out to be able to acquire this bottling at 2017 prices. Right now in Scotland, we're unable to buy Laphroaig older than 15 years for less than £200 a bottle ex-warehouse. That translates to more than $400+ on a retail shelf in most markets. Our close friends and partners at Signatory just sold out a 20 year single cask of Laphroaig for upwards of $700. But, a good bit of luck and some even better timing and we've got this exquisite rarity for way below the market's going rate. Bottled at 52.5%, this offers exactly what we want from an old cask of Laphroaig. The peaty medicinal notes have burnished their hard edges over two decades and melted into velvety flames. The elegant side of Laphroaig's malt really gets to take its moment in the spotlight, but behind it all the brooding brute watches closely by. A stunning pale gold color, this one is exceptionally easy drinking at cask strength and gives pause to even the most experienced among us. A truly legendary whisky from Islay's most distinctive malt.

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Price: $249.99
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By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/18/2019 | Send Email
Wow. Ok, back up….
To be fair, Laphroaig was the first Scotch that really got me into whiskey but this dram is just unfair. Brown sugared bacon, honey biscuits, with the lightest bit of smoke and iodine wafted up from the glass and figuratively tickles the nose. The palate reminded me of charred jalapeno skin, candied fennel, bar-b-qued ribs and salted caramel and just took over all of my favorite taste buds. The finish was extremely long and tasted much better than the bar-b-que’d band aides the flavor reminded me of.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/17/2019 | Send Email
Sometimes we forget about how special old Islay whisky can be simply because it seems to barely exist. When we do see something more than 18 years old, it tends to be astronomically expensive. We loved the Ardbeg Twenty Somethings, but dang those prices are high. Laphroaig doesn't really do much in this age range, having discontinued the 18 year and proofed down the older offerings. So we're stuck with the independently bottled stocks. Funny thing, just like Ardbeg, Laphroaig has decided that they're not going to sell a single drop of whisky to anyone else without declassifying it (teaspooned or otherwise). That means that our suppliers have no way to replenish their stocks of Islay's most distinctive malt. Prices are now absolutely bonkers. The same, albeit delicious, '98 Laphroaig's from Signatory that we sold for $160 at 15 years of age are now 21-years-old and selling for $700+. But somehow we acquired this old stock bottled 2 years ago and the prices simply didn't change. The result is a perfect old Laphroaig at a retro price point. Yes it's still VERY expensive, but there's absolutely nothing available anywhere close to this quality on the market today. This is no modern Laphroaig by the way. Expect the linear medicinal peat to be a bit tamed due to the age, but still tons of complex smoky flavors and more. Camphor, tar, diesel engine, lime, dried salted meat, fresh pirellis. On the palate the peat is still front and center, sweet herbs, salted herring, capers, kombu, lemon sauce, spices. With water we're opening the nose quite a lot. Big lemon component taking hold here. Green olives, salt spray, meringue, tropical plants. On the palate there's still plenty of peat, but it's relinquished it's strong hold, now salted fruits, salted nuts, salted fish. It's salty! Billowing ashy smoke in the background somehow it still feels clean. White pepper, ginger powder, sweet roots, lemon tea on the long sublime finish. Just a massive classic old Laphroaig. One that might turn the most jaded peat hater into a believer or convince the staunchest proponent of young punchy peaters that old Islay is still king. Only 96 bottles available.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/5/2019 | Send Email
"Salty and smoky and a touch medicinal and beautiful and floral and oh my god." This is all I wrote when we tasted this cask in Scotland. Upon further review - it's pretty much the exact same train of thought I had tasting it again in the States. Hunter Laing has outdone themselves with this cask and pricing. I truly do not believe we will see this kind of value proposition again for aged Blue Chip Islay malt whisky.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/30/2019 | Send Email
The Laphroaig name is very well known already within the whisky world because of its devotion to using its own floor maltings and hand-cut peat. This kind of attention and labor does not disappoint in its contribution to flavor. With citrus, pine, and herbal notes, and the classic medicinal character we expect from Laphroaig. Throw in a long finish thanks to the cask strength nature and you have a truly tasty, very unique drink.

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Alcohol Content (%): 52.5