Say bye bye to the Laphroaig 18. Beam Suntory plans to phase out the 18 year old by years end of 2016. That’s what Simon Brooking, brand ambassador of Laphroaig, told me when I asked him about persistent rumors of the discontinuation of the 18yo. He also was careful to add, “But we all know that in the spirits business decisions are always subject to change”.
Ever since Words of Whisky broke the news of the return of the Laphroaig 15, speculation about the termination of the Laphroaig 18 has been going rampant. Rumors turned up every once in a while, only to be denied, for instance in an email to a concerned consumer. I’ve been ignoring these rumors for the most part, since I figured it was mostly just the internet dreaming up conspiracy theories.
That was until another Beam Suntory employee was very adamant in the Facebook-group Malt Maniacs & Friends. Dan Woolley, ambassador for Beam Suntory Australia, stated that the Laphroaig 18 was definitely going away. He also added:
“The 15 will become the Friends of Laphroaig-bottling released as a limited edition every year and the 18 will be replaced.”
With Woolley and Brooking there are now two reputable sources saying that the 18yo will disappear. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it will be interesting to see what new expression will be the replacement of the 18yo. According to Woolley it won’t be the 15, because that will become the annual Friends of Laphroaig-bottling. Makes me wonder what else Laphroaig will come up with. Let’s just hope they don’t go the route of the Laphroaig Select, and it’s not another No Age Statement-whisky.
I am so disappointed with all the NAS Laphroaigs in the Duty-Free stores (PX Cask, QA, Select, …). Apart from indies, the only Laphroaig I drink is the 10 yo C/S, still a hell of a deal (available from the Laphroaig website).
Interesting news. Not very long ago when the 18 yo was introduced to replace the 15 yo. Now we have a 15 yo again and the 18 yo will go.
I’m so sorry to hear that the 18yo is to be discontinued. It really is my favorite dram. Hopefully there will be some decent and affordable replacement, because prices for the 18yo now rocket sky high 🙁
Yeah, prices for the 18yo have soared ever since I posted the news on this blog. Too bad, because it used to be a great value-for-money whisky.
For what it is worth, on a Laphroig tasting event at the distillery on Nov 6, 2015, the Laphroig host said the 18 has been discontinued (past tense intentional). The 18 was not even available in the distillery store. Whatever is left in the channel is all there will be. And the new 15, which we could buy in the distillery, is their 200th anniversary edition only (priced at GBP 59, in case anyone is curious). Other than the 10 year, they said there will be no more age-statement whiskeys in the “core line”. We got a Similar message from three different people at the distillery, so you have to assume it is part of what they have been trained to say. Then they gave me Simon’s card to help find the new stuff in the US….
Do you think we will see an upsurge in named, not numbered, whisky from all distilleries?
That’s already happening. Just look at Talisker, Ardbeg, Glenmorangie, Laphroaig and many others.
Is the Replacement the new Laphroaig Lore?
I don’t believe it was officially announced as such, but yes, you could see it as the replacement. It fills the gap left by the 18yo and is priced similarly.