Again a whisky from the range of DH17slijterijen. This time I do not own a bottle but I did get a sample of this one by courtesy of DH17 (Thanks for that Elise!). This one comes from a hogshead with the number #4133 distilled 19-09-2000 bottled 03-05-2010 at Cask Strength in this case at 54,9% ABV. Only 75 bottles were available. This particular one is possibly a hefty Islay; well that is what you would expect from a Laphroaig, so let us find out. The glass used is the Libbey Tasting Glass. The colour is a light gold.
The nose: Immediately after opening the sample tube you will find the characteristic smell of a Laphroaig whisky. The burning embers of peat, combined with some little sweetness as you possibly know of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask arrives very nicely in more or less the same way, although the XVII’s seems somewhat lighter despite the higher ABV. It has some medicinal notes in it but overall the nose is delicate and very good balanced
The taste: Again you will find the smokiness as you are used from other Laphroaig accompanied by a nice amount of peat. Again it feels somewhat lighter then I can remember of the Quarter Cask. It has some fruity hints (citrus, but even some yellow kiwi I found) and some saltiness. Again it seems rather delicate for a Laphroaig at Cask Strength but it is definitively delivering.
The finish: The finish is relatively soft, but also there are some light peppery notes present. When swallowed you get a back fire of smoke and peat through the back of your mouth into your nose, especially when you are slightly breathing through your mouth letting, in wine terms the Arôme de bouche (be careful not choke on it, that is quite painful, I can tell you from my own experience) do its work. Again it is far more delicate than I would expect of a Laphroaig, but it is working well.
The balance: Well it balances everything out very nicely. As you read it is more delicate then the Laphroaig Quarter Cask (my only reference off Laphroaig), but it is still a heck of dram. I could imagine myself drinking this dram while you want the characteristics of the heftier Laphroaig but does not fancy the power of it.
Conclusion: I started out with the question to find out if this is a hefty Islay, well it is not. It is definitely a Laphroaig but one with a more gentle and relaxed character. The price of this dram is € 45 and only available at DH17Slijterijen, which to me makes sense. I will be considering adding one of these to my growing collection, simple because I really like it.