Each time I sit down with a glass ( or two) of this malt I feel like I’m making a big mistake. Like I should maybe be putting away a few extra bottles for that proverbial rainy day. I think we’re all familiar with the old parable about the grasshopper and the ant, right?
With the current state of the whisky world being what it is (soaring costs, dipping ages and a steady veering towards no age statement malts) I fear it really is only a matter of time until the ’15’ disappears from the label of this expression. Or further, that the Laimrig disappears altogether. Let’s hope I’m wrong on that one, but I think either way it’s time to shelve a few bottles for future days.
Laimrig is a revelation. A sub $100 release that simply outperforms anything comparable on the market. Its appeal (at least for me) lies in the intricacies of the marriage of sweet and smoke, and how beautifully it manages to integrate these pieces into such a harmonious whole. The three main factors at play here are peat + sherry + age. The smokiness though, for any who may be concerned they may not be peat-conditioned enough for this one, is restrained enough to sit behind the syrupy fruit notes, creating a very broadly appealing dram. I’ve yet to pour one for someone and have them not like it. And finally… probably the single greatest asset working in favour of Laimrig is a return to a fruitier style of Bowmore. This profile is far preferable to the more floral Bowmore we’ve been privy to for the past several years. Absolutely a move in the right direction for this distillery.
Undoubtedly my favorite under-20 y.o. whisky out there.
Nose: Grape juice. Smoke. Deep jammy notes and berry coulis. Well-oiled leather. Sea spray. A touch of grapefruit. Ash and iodine. Devil’s food cake and cherry pie filling. Apples and apple skins. A little bit of rubber. A savoury, slightly meaty note.
Palate: Deep, deep threads of smoked dark tree fruits. Lush and juicy. Smoky and hinting at a Fisherman’s Friend kind of medicinal edge. Plum sauce and some dark gooey Asian sauces (hoisin?). Apple skins and soggy wood. Oil. Viscous and rich.
Thoughts: I adore this whisky. Slightly different than previous ones I’ve tried, but equally awesome. A little more on woods and less on fruits, I think, if I had to put my finger on it.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt