Laphroaig SMWS 29.154 “Camping with M*A*S*H”

smws 29154 2.jpg

Thanks to /u/devoz for swapping me this sample.

So like a lot of Millennials (albeit one on the older side of that weathered coin), I grew up with MAS*H reruns. I watched it a ton, almost to the point where I wonder how much I really understood about the Korean war.

Looking back, the idea of the show seemed insane. I was growing up watching a show that originally aired 10 years before I was born. About a war I had no idea about. That was based on the drug and drinking habits of womanizing men who needed some way to find normalcy in a war zone.

I mean, for all of you parents out there: would you let your kids watch a show like that? Now? About the Gulf War (either one, take your pick).

None the less, being Melancholy and generally understanding humour is needed (desperately) in dark situations has stuck with me. I’m both the funniest and worst person at a funeral. I giggle like an idiot at them, and that’s how I am.

And don’t get me started on national tragedies. I won’t repeat what I’ve said, however it was horrible, and part of me hates that I said it.

What does all that have to do with Scotch, you may ask? Well todays whisky is SMWS 29.154 “Camping with M*A*S*H”. I was going to ask Alan Alda to write a forward, however he kept calling the cops when I showed up.

What a nice man.

So this is an Older Laphroaig. And it brought up some Nostalgia for me, when I wanted to be like Hawkeye, was worried I’d end up like Winchester, and landed somewhere in between (I never would think I was Frank).

Though for part of High School I was like Klinger.

Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

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Price: N/A in Ontario

Outturn: 253

Date Distilled: October 1990

Age: 23 years

Cask Type: Refill hoshead

Region: Islay

Abv: 49.8%

Colour: 7/5Y 9/6

Nose: Butter, smoke, toast, salt water taffy, fennel, blackberry BBQ sauce, mint

Save for the salt water taffy, I wouldn’t expect al of this from a Laphroaig. Oh, I don’t mean that in a mean way. I just always found Laphroaig to be Winchester of the Islays: Not quite Frank (Bowmore) and not quite Hawkeye (Port Ellen/Kilchoman/Lagavulin). Somewhere in the middle, with Spear Chucker (Caol Ila).

That last line felt racist. Was it racist?

None the less, this nose is complex. Good amount of grains, great complexity, and as usual, a nice amount of spices here. Not a peat bomb, more so well developed over the years/decades.

Taste: Gooseberry, caramel with fleur de sel, coffee, BBQ pepper beef, cloves

Really crazy flavours here. Nothing I’ve tasted before. Love the Caramel/Salt combination. Though I’m a sucker for that.

It’s dry here. Not dry like making a martini that could be considered a disaster area, or drinking gin while staring at Lorenzo Schwartz. No, more just the right amount of dryness to pair with the sweet and smoke to create really interesting flavours.

Finish: Anise, espresso, cotton candy, pear, toffee, cake, brown butter icing

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a nice coffee, and this tastes exactly like that. There’s more sweetness as the end, like Hot Lips in the later seasons.

Conclusion: It’s an excellent Laphroaig. Well developed, interesting, complex flavours, nice dryness, and a cool name.

Not to mention there’s this amazing, long sweet finish. This is worthy of the SMWS name, and the M*A*S*H name as well.

86/100

Scotch review #464, Islay review #97, Whisky Network review #759

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