I was lucky enough to secure samples of batches 001 and 002 of the new bottlings. And I happen to have an open bottle of the now obsolete 55.7% red stripe CS on my shelf. Time to pour three wee drams and hunt down the differences.
This is a powerful dram. An uncompromising young Laphroaig enhanced with strong wood notes. A little water seems to make it even stronger. Nothing for the faint of heart, but a true delight for those who can take a punch. – Score: 90/100
The typical Laphoaig kick is there, but more tamed in comparison to the 10 yo CS. Don’t use to much water! The sherry makes it an interesting variation from the standard, but it doesn’t quite live up to it. – Score: 86/100