As Laphroaig prepares for its bicentennial celebrations later this year on Islay, the Beam Suntory-owned distillery has officially confirmed the limited return of Laphroaig 15 Year Old as part of the celebration.
The 15-year-old single malt was dropped from Laphroaig’s permanent range several years ago in favor of an 18-year-old expression, but distillery manager John Campbell made the decision to bring it back for 2015 as one of the special releases planned for the year. Campbell hinted at the return of the 15-year-old during last September’s Laphroaig Live webcast in Sweden, and other releases expected this year include a 32-year-old bottling and a 21-year-old release to honour the 21st anniversary of the Friends of Laphroaig affinity group.
Laphroaig 15 Year Old will be available starting in May at whisky specialist shops in Europe with a recommended retail price of £75 ($112 USD) per 700ml bottle. Beam Suntory has confirmed the expression will be available in the US early this summer in 750ml bottles, but pricing has not been announced yet.
In addition, while the 200th anniversary celebration is expected (but not confirmed) to be part of this year’s Laphroaig Live webcast in the autumn, the distillery will be expanding its “OpinionsWanted” promotion as part of the event. 200 of the most unique “opinions” submitted to the Laphroaig web site will be featured as tiles on the distillery’s walls, and several winners will be selected to attend Laphroaig Live, which is being held at the Islay distillery for the first time in nine years. No date has been announced for the event, but an announcement could come during next month’s Laphroaig day during the annual Islay Festival of Malt & Music. The distillery opted not to hold its anniversary celebration during the festival, which already stresses the island’s tourism infrastructure to the breaking point with thousands of visitors attending Feis Ile events at the eight Islay distilleries.