This post only covers the news aspect of the Laphroaig 21. For our tasting notes/reviews on it click here.
The ballots are over but if you are friend of Laphroaig you might be able to find a bottle on their online shop.
Rumour has it that about 13,000 bottles were released. Which translates to 6,500 full size (70cl) bottles. But this information is unconfirmed.
Original Post Below
Exciting news from Laphroaig! They are releasing a special bottling for the Friends of Laphroaig to commemorate 21 years of FoL.
Here are the details of the bottling:
Age: 21 years old
Cask: First fill ex-bourbon with some being air dried instead of kiln dried
Price: £99.00 from the Laphroaig online shop for Friends of Laphroaig
Selling method: Sold by ballot (same as Cairdeas 2015)
First fill ex-bourbon for 21 years? Amazing! Anytime I see first fill ex-bourbon on something I get excited. Fresh casks right? Also air drying sounds quite appealing as well. It reminds me of photos I’ve seen of wood planks being air dried in Spain to prepare them for cask making.
The move to bottle at 35cl seems down right logical to me. I suspect some people might be complaining about this but demand is super high these days (over 680,000 FoL right now) and in order for more people to get a chance to try these babies bottling volume has to go down. I am all for it. As for the price, it’s a bit pricey but if you break it down it makes sense. £99 for 35cl equates to £198 for 70cl. Given that these are all first fill casks with some being air dried, production costs will be higher. I mean it’s still high I suppose but people will buy it up as fast as if it were £20. So that’s business. I guess.
As for sales by ballot, another smart move. Seems like Laphroaig is learning from past issues of servers crashes. By using a ballot system they can trickle in activity on the site to reduce server overload and they also have a somewhat fair system of distributing the product to interested customers. However, I know that quite a few people did not get selected during the Cairdeas 2015 ballot (TheMadVatter included) which probably lead to some disappointed FoL (TheMadVatter included). But hey that’s life I guess. Judging from my polling during the Cairdeas run, it seemed like 2 out of 5 people were selected. Not sure what it will be like this time. Maybe the higher price and lower bottling volume will mean more people actually getting to buy this stuff this time. We’ll see.
Here’s an excerpt from the FoL email sent out today:
“The Friends of Laphroaig have now ‘come of age’ – we are 21 years old this weekend!
1994 was a landmark year for us in many regards. HRH Prince Charles paid his first visit to the distillery (awarding Laphroaig the Royal Warrant shortly afterwards – the only single malt scotch whisky to hold this honour), and it was the year our “Friends of Laphroaig” community was formed. It all started as a way to thank all of our friends for their support, so we decided to give each ‘Friend’ a square foot plot of land at the distillery – and that we would pay them ‘rent’ of a dram of 10 year old each time they came to visit us.
No one then could have guessed that, 21 years later, over 680,000 plots would have been occupied! Over the years we have had everything from proposals and marriages to sculptures placed on your beloved plots, and visitors from over 100 countries around the world.
You may have noticed in the news recently that Plot Holder No.1 (HRH Prince of Wales) came to visit us again in June and officially opened the stone Cairn that has been erected amongst your plots to celebrate the journey we have all taken together over the past 21 years.
The Friends of Laphroaig exclusive 21 Year Old limited edition.
To celebrate our 21 years of friendship, we are releasing a limited edition 21YO exclusively for you. First fill ex bourbon barrels – but some with a difference. A portion of these barrels have had their staves fully air dried which gives extra spicy notes to the whisky. It has been bottled at 48.5% ABV in 35cl bottles and non-chill filtered. I am proud to say that, as with Cairdeas, the distillery will contribute £1 for every bottle sold to The Laphroaig Legacy Fund, which has been established to support sustainable living for the islanders.
This 21 Year old will be sold by Ballot.
Due to the demand for this exclusive bottling, we will again be fair to everyone and sell it by ballot. From those of you who decide to participate, we will draw names at random to select who will have the opportunity to buy.
Up to 3 bottles for each winner.
Many of you have asked if they could buy together as a group (as one ballot entry) to reduce postage costs. For this special event, postage costs for this 21 year old (in UK and Europe) will be the same for one, two or three bottles per winner.”
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