Laphroaig 2003

Laphroaig is one of those names that is often known outside the close inner circle of whisky fandom. It’s an exceptional distillery with a long history of making excellent whisky – but the thing that most people remember about it is just how peaty it is. Other Islay whiskies may have higher ppms than Laphroaig, but the flavour profile of Laphroaig is some of the boldest and most oceanically algal in all of Scotch whisky.

This cask shows that off magnificently – using the classic flavours of a bourbon hogshead to allow Laphroaig’s distinctive maritime peatiness to express itself. At 17 years old, it is less intense than a younger Laphroaig as the flavours have begun to settle comfortably together. Bottle it soon to maintain some of that raw power, or wait a while and let things mellow out yet further.

Auction estimate: £80,000 – £85,000

Auction has ended. The winning bidder has been notified.

Cask Details

Age17 years
Distillation DateFebruary 5, 2003
Cask TypeHogshead
Re-gauge ABV57.10%
Re-gauge Litre of Alcohol (RLA)100.32 litres
New Bulk Litres175.70 litres
Re-gauge DateSeptember 7, 2020
Cask Number944

Tasting Notes

N/A – No sample was made available.

About The Distillery

Found on the slightly more sheltered (though that still doesn’t say much) southern coast of Islay, Laphroaig is one of the Kildalton three: three distilleries that are a short walk along the old single-track road running east from Port Ellen – a road that terminates at the Kildalton Cross. The cross was hewn from stone at the beginning of the 8th century and marks the ancient attempts to spread Christianity to Scotland’s most remote isles.

Laphroaig certainly feels remote, and the shining seas that extend away to the South remind visitors just how difficult such distilleries are to get to. This remoteness has served places like Laphroaig, which were able to make whisky even when their legal situation was dubious – the infrequent visits of customs and excise meant that distilling on the isles continued even as the mainland stills were silenced.

Laphroaig started making whisky in 1815 and has been doing so ever since. It is famed for an uncompromisingly phenolic style – dark, sticky and tarry peat smoke has been its hallmark for a long while. Local Ileachs happily freshen local oysters with an intense glug of Laphroaig before devouring, and HRH the Prince of Wales was so enamoured of the style that he granted Laproaig a royal warrant in 1994. He is far from alone in his appreciation of this uncompromisingly intense malt.

Buyer’s note: We cannot offer a photo of this cask due to the regulations on Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations that are imposed in the warehouse.


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Auction Details

  • Bidding will end on December 27th at 5:00pm GMT subject to continuation defined below.
  • If any bid is received within the last 5 minutes of bidding across any of the current auction listings, the entire auction will be extended for an additional 5 minutes. The auction will officially close when a period of 5 minutes has passed without a new bid.
  • All bids represent a legally binding contract to purchase the designated item.
  • The highest bidder at conclusion of the auction will immediately be charged a £500 deposit by credit card; the remaining balance will be due within 72 hours of auction close by bank wire transfer.
  • Failure to send proof of payment within 72 hours will result in a penalty of 1% of the hammer price for each day the payment is delinquent.
  • Upon verification that all funds due have been received, ownership of the cask will be transferred to the buyer and the buyer will be sent a title certificate. As per Scottish regulations, the cask must remain in a government bonded warehouse until bottling.
  • No samples will be provided during the auction.
  • If two bidders place a bid in the same amount, the first bid placed will be the winner.
  • Storage will be included for a period of 2 years from the conclusion of the auction. All other costs related to storage, removal from storage, insurance, transportation, bottling and duties/taxes will be the sole responsibility of the buyer.
  • A reserve price has been set for the auction. If the reserve price is not reached then the seller, in their sole discretion, can choose whether to accept the high bid or may offer a counter offer. All bids placed by buyers are binding, even when the reserve price has not been met, until the seller declines the highest bid.
  • A 10% buyers premium will be added to the highest prevailing bid. No buyers premium will be due if the reserve price is not met and the seller choses not to accept the high bid.