Laphroaig’s New ‘Select’ Single Malt Scotch Whisky Cracks Our Christmas Wish List

We’re a pretty satisfied bunch, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t covetous. Sometimes we see things out there that we just must have. This is an archive of those earthly desires. During the holiday season, the Cool Thing We Want column goes into overdrive, so keep checking back for more gift ideas.

Shocker: I like whisky. All kinds. I have a wee collection – mostly scotch – which I separate into two categories: bottles I drink often and bottles I haven’t opened yet. Of the latter, they’re almost exclusively old single malts — the prohibitively expensive stuff; sacred cows I seldom sneak a nip of. Of the former, it’s a mixed bag of blended whiskies and one or two pricier, peaty bruisers that I dip into on occasion.

The new Laphroaig Select Single Malt suits the shelf of the bottles I drink often, and I want one. Possibly two. I’ve only enjoyed a couple of ounces of it so far but it’s been love at first taste. Aged in a rite of American white oak, Oloroso sherry butts, Pedro Ximenez-seasoned hogsheads and bourbon casks, the honey-hued mellow burner (40% ABV) has the peaty, sea-sprayed impact of a heavy Islay scotch but – and I don’t know how they do this – it seems to have been dialled back about 20%, allowing for hints of other, gentler flavours to make subtle appearances. The peat still abounds, but it’s behaving alongside floral, citrus and apple notes.

It’s certainly an interesting sipper, and I’d like to get to know better — preferably during the Christmas holiday. And at around $80 a bottle, I feel I can. There was a tasting of it at Legacy Liquor Store last Friday, so I imagine you’ll be able to find a bottle or two there. Bonus: like most whiskies, it fits beautifully in a stocking.

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