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Whisky Reviews

Laphroaig ‘Kilbride’ 1993 / 2022, 28 Years Old, Friendship Bottling for Bar Talk Series (The Mash Tun Tokyo, The WhiskyFind, The MaltCask), 49.2% ABV

キルブライド(ラフロイグ)1993 28年 シェリーカスク マッシュタン東京

 

I was really fortunate that the opportunity came up to get a dram of a whisky that I've really been extremely eager to try - a 1993 Kilbride (that's codename for Laphroaig) that's 28 years old, aged in a Sherry cask.

I've been dying to try this for a number of reasons - firstly, it's a joint bottling by several bars/bottlers who're highly regarded (we've got Tokyo's Mash Tun Bar, Taiwan's WhiskyFind, and Hong Kong's The MaltCask), secondly it's a Sherry cask Laphroaig which I've always heard great reviews of when it's fully matured in a Sherry cask (I don't quite enjoy modern Laphroaig's with the exceptionally medicinal, peaty and bitter flavours), thirdly it's a really well-aged Laphroaig's which in my experience have been vastly differently from what's available these days, and finally the vintage is of some significance to myself.

 

 

Are there really any other reasons to want to try a whisky? 

Oh yeah, there's also the iconic Mash Tun signature - a real life cat whose name is Ribbon, and belongs to Suzuki-san, the bar owner of the illustrious Tokyo bar.

 

 

While I would've relished the chance to have a bottle of this myself, a dram will have to do for now, but in the whisky game, you really never know what opportunity might pop up - so fingers crossed.

So with that, let's give this friendship bottling a go! Onward.

Laphroaig ‘Kilbride’ 1993 / 2022, 28 Years Old, Friendship Bottling for Bar Talk Series (The Mash Tun Tokyo, The WhiskyFind, The MaltCask), 49.2% ABV - Review

 

Tasting Notes

Color: Burnt Sienna

Aroma: Sweet and smoky - it’s a combination of dark berry jams - blackberry and raspberry, Port wine, and aromatic tea smoke. Also medicated oil, cigar boxes, tobacco leaves, aged Pu’er tea leaves, and also a light earthiness of soil. It’s really rich, leaning towards being dark and sweet, but also with a herbal and smoky touch.

Taste: Rich, dark, a mix of sweet, herbal and smoky. Still keeping with the Port wine, berry jams, but the herbal and medicinal parts are much more prominent here. Burnt tea leaves, tobacco leaves, soil, chocolate sauce. There’s more of that medicated oil and eucalyptus. It tips slightly into being bitter at times but then quickly disappears.

Finish: It recedes into a lingering fruit jam sweetness but with a spoonful of ash and smokiness. There’s a sort of leafyness as well of dried tobacco leaves.

 

My Thoughts

This was a superb example of a Laphroaig that’s got great Sherry integration. You get a sense of both the underlying whisky itself - that iconic medicinal touch of Laphroaig’s - but also you’re ushered into this lovely richness of the Sherry. What I really love about this is that you don’t ever get the sense that either is jostling for attention, they’re just so well-married and you couldn’t begin to tell where one ends and the other begins.

On the nose, it’s all this mellowed richness with no harshness whatsoever, incredibly aromatic, and it just wafts forward unhurried. The palate is a continuation but also an evolution of what was on the nose - here the herbal and medicinal profiles come through more, and yet it never does get bitter. As it recedes, you sense more of that earthiness - lots of those dried leaves that come through.

Overall it’s densely fruity, earthy, herbal and also smoky, with a bright and medium body that provides a nice contrast to the darker and denser flavours. This was really stellar!

If there was anything I’d ask more for, it’d be for more depth of the flavours and just taking up the punchiness a notch.

 

My Rating: 9/10

 

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot