Laphroaig Tasting At Sigel’s Elite

I had some on-site meetings today that got me most of the way to the Sigel’s Elite, which made getting across town for the Laphroaig tasting much easier. It was no trouble to find, and there was plenty of parking.

I got in a few minutes after it started, and started off with the Triple Wood. I’ve had this one before, and it’s one of my favorite expressions. It goes really well with sour or tart foods, such as berry cobblers. The peat is definitely there, as it should be in an Islay malt, but with the time in sherry casks, it’s got a nice balance to it.

After that one, I played catch-up and sampled the Select expression that they’d started with. This is their attempt at recreating a pre-Prohibition whisky. It’s pretty darned good, with a much more forward oak flavor than I was expecting. I think this would pair really well with a nice bison ribeye.

Next up was the 18 Year Old, another one of my favorites. Being an older whisky, it’s definitely more mellow than its younger siblings, especially the peat. But that allows the other flavor notes to really shine. I’m not sure what I’d pair this with, because it’s one to be savored. I think that good friends and possibly a good cigar are the perfect accompaniment for a wee dram of this whisky.

Once we had finished that one, we got to taste the 2014 Cairdeas. I guess Simon was feeling the Christmas spirit, because this was completely unexpected. I’ve got a bottle of it at the house, but I haven’t opened it yet. It was definitely interesting, with a pronounced sherry note, along with some yeasty flavors. I’m not a huge fan of sherry finishes, but this one is an exception. I’m thinking it’d go well with a crème brûlée or maybe some sweet crepes.

And finally, we got a real Christmas treat as Simon opened up a bottle of the 25 year old. This is Laphroaig’s oldest normally available bottling, and one I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. It’s just been a little too expensive to buy a bottle on a whim, so this was definitely a treat. What can I say, it was fantastic. The peat’s hiding in the background, but there’s a flavor explosion going on with everything else that’s been hiding or developing over time.

Once the tasting was done, I spent a few minutes chatting with Simon before picking up a few bottles of the Select, and getting one signed. All in all, a great way to spend an evening.