I received my bottle of Laffie 25 yesterday I will open it this weekend with some Brothers in Drams .....
I have also a 10Yo, a CS, a 15 YO, a 30 Yo, a 31 YO (1974) and a vintage 1984. I love Laphroaig
On the Laphroaig website you can find new pages with a virtual tour and videos guided by John Campbell, the Distillery manager. An excellent initiative from the Laphroaig Distillery and very interesting. Click here for the virtual tour
These videos are also available from the Weblog Mediagallery including the video from Laphroaig Live which was broadcasted through the internet in November. Click here for the Laphroaig Videos
Saw your picture in the Malt Advocate Magazine - Very nice - I was in last month's issue when Ian Miller from Glenfiddich was in Omaha - Simon Booking from Laphroaig is in Omaha end of the month to do a tasting and that should be great fun - Just in Chicago for Whiskyfest so got to catch up with Davinia Small representing Ardbeg, Willie Tate from Jura and several other friends and fans of Islay whiskies - Now, if I can get a friend to snag a few festival bottlings in May to ship back to the U.S. I will be a very happy guy.
The photo was a pleasant surprise - I had forgotten that I had submitted it after my Islay trip! I just ordered tickets for the NYC Whiskey Fest - it will be our third trip, worth every penny. Speaking of pennies, it will be quite a bit of time until I manage to get back to Scotland, now that our US currency is in a seeming free-fall. I am thinking possibly 2010 as a Norway trip is on the schedule for next year. Friends that I hiked with in northern England are suggesting the West Highland way, followed by a trip on the malt whisky trail (www.maltwhiskytrail.com) - heaven, second only to Islay and all its glory!
Then maybe back to Islay.
The significant other and I are planning on staying close to home this year and will be taking a trip on the American Whiskey Trail in October (www.discus.org/trail). I have only been to the Jack Daniels Distillery so far so this trip should be a lot of fun.
I do think that I left my heart in Islay - at Laphroaig. The other night we we opened a bottle of Bruichladdich that I had bought him as a present for Christmans (3D Peat Proposal) and all the memories flooded back.
Below is a picture of all of us at the Dundee Dell in Omaha, NE (USA) this week with Simon Brooking (he is just to the left of Monique Huston the Dell's Manager) who is the U.S. Brand Ambassador for Laphroiag - Simon did a great tasting for all of us! Why I am wearing a tie is beyond me!
May is the time of year for 2 important events. The Feis Ile of Malt and Music and of course our limited Laphroaig â€œFriendsâ€ special bottling, released at the distillery and in the friends online shop.
This year we have called it Cairdeas (Friendship in Gaelic). It is really unique and its creation is an interesting story in itself, which you can read below. As last year, it is, I am afraid, to be sold on a first come first served basis. For the lucky friends that do get a bottle please save some for our live webcast from the distillery on June 18th. We will be tasting it live and would love you to join in and share the experience. At the bottom of this E Mail is the link. Click on it to make your order.
Robert Hicks wrote the following piece on how he developed your 2008 Cairdeas.
The Creation of Cairdeas by Robert Hicks
To me a Master Blender needs 4 skills. 1. Obviously a good nose (far more important than taste, incidentally). 2. A memory like an elephant! - You need to be able to remember things you tasted 10 - 20 years ago. 3. A little imagination â€“ it goes a long way and 4. Patience! Whisky is a slow process and cannot be rushed!
I like to think all 4 skills came into play when creating Cairdeas for you.
My first approach
When I sat down to consider this challenge, my thoughts went back 3 years to a little experiment I did when creating Quarter Cask. Having perfected the blend from the first maturation, rather than placing all the spirit in the tiny â€œQuartersâ€ (which give a very â€œintenseâ€ maturation) I placed a small quantity of this whisky into first fill Bourbon casks and left it to see how it matured. My thoughts returned to these barrels and the whisky they contained. It was good, in fact very good, but to me it still lacked the exact flavour profile I was looking for.
A month later...
I had not cracked the problem, and I was in the process of tasting a quantity of 17 year old Laphroaig barrels (more of this some time in the future!). Two barrels were quite different to the rest, really special â€“ and they had exactly the missing characteristics I was looking for. I asked John if I could have them and he grudgingly accepted (they were expensive barrels!).
With trepidation I added this 17 year old. It was perfect. I asked for it to be bottled without chill filtering to ensure it retained the exact flavour profile. Please note it is also bottled at 55% ABV, so add a dash of water (or ice for those that know me!)
I love it; I really hope you do too. John has agreed to keep the price to Â£40 - even though I used his precious 17 year old!
For the lucky few of you who can get their hands on a bottle, we will be tasting it at our â€œDistillery Live!â€ broadcast on June the 18th, so please leave some to taste along with me live!
needless to say I ordered it right away, so if you want to do the same....I'd hurry!!!
The Maggie is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time! Many scenes on Islay!