The Belgian bottler Brachadair has been reawakened recently. Time to re-visit one of the first bottlings they did four years ago: an A.D. Rattray Laphroaig 1998. Actually it has been bottled by A.D. Rattray and selected by Brachardair. I assume no one is going to object to that when it comes to Laphroaig?
Brachadair is Gaelic for maltman and is the brainchild of Patrick Vanderlinden. Brachadair released one proper bottling (a 1991 Braes of Glenlivet/Braeval) and selected two bottlings from A.D. Rattray until recently One was a 16yo Arran and then we have this Islay gem...
Identity Card A.D. Rattray Laphroaig 1998
- Bottled by A.D. Rattray for Brachadair
- Laphroaig Distillery, Port Ellen (Islay)
- 14 year old single malt
- Alcohol: 56.6% ABV
- Distilled 4/11/1998 - 4/2/2013
- Barrel #10481 | 212 bottles
Colour: Straw yellow. Swirling leaves thin and fast legs on the glass.
Nose: A dense nose that quickly fills the room with the unmistakable Laphroaig aroma. Citrus, vanilla and smoked salt. Antisceptic, baked apple and tar. Play-doh mixed with fudge and condensed milk. Wet grass and heather. Baked banana.
With water things get more woody. More vanilla and creamy notes. Rock sugar and aniseed. Liquorice root. Minerally and chalky. Spicy biscuits.
Taste: Again citrus. A smouldering wood fire. Vanilla beans and black pepper. Pear butter. Silky on the tongue with a peppery twist.
With water there's bitter lemon peel and cigar boxes. Scorched heather and honey. A smoky explosion of burned caramel.
Finish: Warm and dry in the aftertaste. Smoked jalapenos, mint and pear.
This is a Laphroaig that can reignite the love. Simply blood good stuff. An old school and instant recognisable Laphroaig. Back in the days it was fairly affordable. Less than €90 for a 14yo cask strength Laphroaig. I challenge you to find one below €115 these days. How things have changed in only two or three years... (Yes, I sound like an old fart.) The reason Laphroaig sadly disappeared off my radar these days. No use in ranting about it. As Ian Buxton recently stated in this year's Whisky Yearbook "Suck it up or move on"