Laphroaig "Triple Wood" Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
This is the first time I’ve been up for reviews here so I had a game plan: play it cool, mark tightly, let everyone know I’m hard to please. Then they gave me this, the whisky equivalent to front row tickets to Neil Young on his current Twisted Road tour: not just a chance to get up close and personal with an old favorite, but to do so with an old favorite who’s on fire. Laphroaig’s owners are intent on ensuring a big peaty engine for any new release, but this is a monster by anyone’s standards. It’s essentially Quarter Cask finished in oloroso sherry casks, so in addition to the intense charcoal smoke attack there are rich fruity notes; blackcurrant and berries. It’s an evening barbecue whisky. Grill that fish until it’s blackened and crispy, drizzle on lemon, and as the smoke rears up in protest, sip this. Big, moody, broody, fruity, and rich: what’s not to love? (Vol 19, #3)
A limited release that was supposedly for European Travel Retail only! Lucky for us some popped up in California. This is essentially the Quarter Cask finished in Oloroso Sherry Butts. There's an extra touch of savory richness at the back end, but the entry is all peat and iodine just like we expect from Laphroaig. The finish really lurks for some time, morphing from smoke, to nutty rancio, to savory sea salt. It's a great new release from Laphroaig - a distillery that has been absolutely killing it with their special edition whiskies as of late.