Rumours Chapter 3 14yo Uncharted Whisky & Laphroaig 10 Year Old Sherry Oak Finish


It’s always exciting to check out a new indie bottler and it’s doubly exciting when it’s an Islay whisky we’re looking at. We’ve got two Laphroaig releases under the microscope today.

Rumours Chapter 3 14yo Uncharted Whisky

Region: Islay

ABV: 58.2%

Price: £124.00

This 14 year old release from Uncharted Whisky was distilled at Laphroaig in September 2009 and left to slumber in what we assume was a bourbon hogshead until it was bottled in April 2023.

Nose

We find the nose to be a touch tight, and this dram really needs some time to sit in the glass. As we nose it, we begin to detect notes of ammonia, Lucky Charms, hops, vanilla pods, iodine, pepper spice, candy floss, and a very faint hint of smoke. The nose isn’t really screaming 'Laphroaig' and is pretty one-dimensional.

Palate

On the palate, we taste lemon juice, chocolate coins, white sugar, and very little peat or smoke. These notes then transitions into a considerable amount of spice on a long finish. On the plus side, there’s a slight oiliness to the mouthfeel that we’re enjoying, but this doesn’t remind us of Laphroaig, and we’re hardly enamoured by what’s here. Hopefully, a few drops of water can turn this around.

Nose (with water)

With reduction, we notice more pepper, a hint of ethanol, barley sugars, plastic, and even less peat smoke. Unfortunately, the reduction hasn't improved the nose, which still remains fairly one-dimensional.

Palate (with water)

The palate, when reduced, becomes sweeter, predominantly showcasing refined white sugar. The punch of spice that we experienced has transformed into a warming spice that is more palatable. Upon revisiting, we detect hints of ash and lemonade. The finish remains long and has become more enjoyable with the spice now in better balance. The mouthfeel is slightly thinner but not unpleasant.

Conclusion

A 14-year-old Laphroaig - what could go wrong? As it turns out, quite a bit. This is certainly one of the more disappointing releases we’ve encountered from this distillery. Maybe if this was from a random distillery that we didn't have much experience with, we might rate it a 6. However, given our love for Laphroaig, we're not going higher than a 5/10.

Score: 5/10

Value

Indie bottlers' releases of Laphroaig are usually on the pricey side, so we're not complaining about the cost here.


Laphroaig 10 Year Old Sherry Oak Finish

Region: Islay

ABV: 48.0%

Price: £57.00

This core range release is a 10-year-old that was initially matured in bourbon barrels before undergoing a finish in European oak ex-oloroso casks.

Nose

Initially on the nose we're detecting cola syrup, caramelised sugar, Sicilian lemon zest, vinegar, pepper, all interwoven with a pleasant backdrop of smoke and ash. It's not as aggressively peated as other releases, but it still quintessential Laphroaig. As it sits in the glass, we notice hints of burnt corn, prunes, golden syrup, cloves, and a faint touch of plums.

Palate

Soil, amaretti biscuits, earth, sugar syrup, ginger, and cinnamon sticks all make an appearance on the palate. It has a decent-length finish with lingering pepper spice and ash. The mouthfeel is good, though not spectacular. There are fewer medicinal notes here than we were expecting, and there's a bit too much sherry influence for our tastes.

Nose (with water)

With reduction, we detect menthol/eucalyptus leaves, wheat, melted butter, and fresh soil, while most of the other pre-dilution notes remain present.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has transformed into an ashtray, accompanied by hints of musk, orange rind, and lavender. It's a bit flatter now, yet slightly spicier. The mouthfeel, however, has held up well with a few drops of water, and the finish maintains a good length.

Conclusion

A solid Laphroaig release that falls a little short of the core range 10. If we wanted a sherry and peat hit we wouldn’t be unhappy with this, but would definitely rather have a dram of Ardbeg Uigeadail. This just misses a 7 for us… 6.5/10.

Score: 6.5/10

Value

It’s not terribly priced, but an extra £10 does get you the cask strength Uigeadail.

  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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