In the world of whisky, tradition and innovation often collide, creating intriguing and unforgettable spirits. Laphroaig, a renowned name in the whisky world, has never shied away from pushing the boundaries of creativity and experimentation. Their latest creation, the Elements 1.0, marks the beginning of a new era in whisky making, celebrating imagination and innovation in the craft.
Elements 1.0 is not just another whisky; it's a testament to Laphroaig's commitment to challenging the norms and redefining the whisky-making process. This unique single malt was born out of a 55-hour fermentation process under the watchful eye of Distillery Manager Barry MacAffer, who expressed the essence of this endeavour, saying, "It's all about what we can change and what we can adapt and what we can modify at the distillery itself."
What sets Elements 1.0 apart from the crowd is its approach to mashing and fermentation. While traditional methods involve using two 5.5-tonne mash tuns, Laphroaig revisited the pre-1990s technique of employing a singular 8.5-tonne mash tun in addition to the two 5.5-tonne ones. This fusion of old and new practices results in a whisky that bridges the gap between different eras in the distillery's history.
Another intriguing aspect is the utilisation of cloudy wort. Laphroaig is known for its combination of fruity and smoky flavours, and this is typically achieved through semi-cloudy wort. However, for Elements 1.0, they introduced cloudy wort into the equation, which enhances the phenolic notes, offering bolder and heavier flavours. The 50/50 mix of cloudy and semi-cloudy wort strikes a perfect balance, creating a harmonious symphony of taste.
But the story of Elements 1.0 doesn't end with the liquid itself; it extends to the packaging and design. Inspired by sketches from the late 1800s and early 1900s detailing designs for the distillery's expansion, the bottle and box incorporate nuggets of information about the whisky-making process. It's a visual and tactile journey that complements the tasting experience.
Elements 1.0 is set to be available for purchase on October 19th, 2023, offering a unique expression that embodies a new direction in whisky-making. Priced at €150.12 (inclusive of VAT, excluding shipping costs), it promises to be a remarkable addition to any whisky enthusiast's collection.
In terms of taste, Elements 1.0 is a premium single malt with a distinctive profile. Tasting notes describe flavours of spicy pepper, charred pineapple, and tangy licorice, providing a complex and layered experience. Distillery Manager Barry MacAffer encapsulates the essence of this creation, saying, "It's amazing – there's so much different flavour. So much going on, so much change as it moves through. And, again, the classic Laphroaig finish; that warming smokiness."
This whisky is a true embodiment of a new era of experimentation in the Laphroaig distillery. While previous experiments have focused on cask finishing and maturation styles, the Elements series takes a step further by exploring what can be changed and adapted within the distillery itself to unlock new flavours.
Laphroaig's Elements 1.0 introduces flavours from a blend of old and new processes, offering classic tropical notes like pineapple alongside phenolic hints of peat and smoke. It's a dynamic and experimental whisky that evolves with each sip, filling the mouth with an exciting array of flavours.
Laphroaig Elements is a bold move into uncharted territory, where the marriage of tradition and innovation results in a whisky that defies conventions. With Elements 1.0, Laphroaig has set the stage for an exciting journey into the world of experimental whisky, paving the way for future releases that will undoubtedly continue to challenge and redefine the boundaries of this time-honoured craft.
Tasting Notes From The Distillery
COLOUR: Bold auburn colour.
NOSE: Salty and smoky bacon, woody bonfire embers overlay hints of sweet strawberry jam and charred pineapple.
PALATE: Spicy and peppery flavour on the tongue with hints of tropical fruit followed by wintery cloves and liquorice.
FINISH: A warming and smoky mouthfeel with a drying, long peaty finish.
About The Laphroaig Distillery
The Laphroaig Distillery is one of the most iconic and renowned names in the world of Scotch whisky. Located on the southern coast of the Isle of Islay in Scotland, Laphroaig has a storied history that dates back to 1815 when it was officially licensed, making it one of the oldest distilleries on the island. The distillery's remote and rugged location, surrounded by the sea and peat bogs, plays a significant role in the distinctive character of its whisky.
Laphroaig is famous for producing a distinctive style of single malt Scotch whisky that is characterised by its bold, peaty, and smoky flavour profile. This unique taste is a result of the use of locally sourced peat during the malt drying process. The peat smoke imparts a robust and earthy quality to the whisky, making it an acquired taste beloved by many whisky enthusiasts.
One of the key factors contributing to Laphroaig's unique flavour is the use of traditional pot stills for distillation. The copper pot stills allow for a greater interaction between the spirit and the copper, which refines and enhances the whisky's character during the distillation process.
Laphroaig offers a range of expressions, from their classic Laphroaig 10-Year-Old to more aged and limited-edition releases. Each expression showcases the complex interplay of peat, sea salt, and sweet malt that has made Laphroaig a favourite among whisky connoisseurs.
The distillery is open for visitors, offering tours that provide insight into the production process and the opportunity to sample their various whiskies. The Laphroaig Distillery stands as a testament to the enduring tradition of Scotch whisky production on the rugged and captivating Isle of Islay.