Laphroaig Triple Wood Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
What the Distillery Says:
This expression of our famous whisky, from the remote island of Islay in the Western Isles of Scotland, has enjoyed a triple maturation in 3 types of cask. Just as with our standard Quarter Cask expression, the first maturation is in American oak, ex-Bourbon Barrels. We then select the most suitable of these barrels, containing a range of different aged spirit and transfer into small 19th Century style Quarter Casks for a second maturation. The final maturation is in specially selected, large European oak, Oloroso Sherry Casks.
It is bottled at 48% ABV and is non-chill filtered for a depth of taste and texture.
COLOUR: Bright gold
NOSE: At 48%, straight from the bottle, the initial flavour is quite sweet with a gentle mixture of sweet raisins and creamy apricots with just a trace of the dry peat smoke at the back, the smoother nutty flavours combine all these flavours into one smooth, syrupy whole. With a touch of water the peat smoke comes to the fore and masks the gentler fruitier notes. Even with the maturation being carried out in 1st fill bourbons, quarter casks and sherry butts, the intense bonfire ash smell of the earthy peat cannot be masked
BODY: Powerful yet with a creamy consistency
PALATE: With no water, a large initial burst of peat belies the slight lack on the nose but is gentled on the tongue by the creamier flavours of vanilla and fruit with just a suggestion of sherry sweetness. With a trace of water the peat reek is gentled, allowing the more complex flavours of citrus fruits and spices to come through. A slight tang comes from the European Oak balancing the creamier American White Oak.
FINISH: Mouth filling and extremely long but balanced by the sweet smooth caramel taste
What Richard Says:
Nose: [SMACK] take that you peaty wench! The sherry cask finishing almost destroys the smoky nose of the Quarter Cask. It doesn’t really scream sherry either. It’s more of a stone fruit and nut combination. There are little trace hints of smoke in the background but they are very understated.
Palate: Oily and viscous in all the right ways. I would expect the sherry finishing to make the palate sweeter than the Quarter Cask but it’s actually less so. This is an almost lighter and more integrated expression. The sweetness is more fruit derived and with a more tannic spin. Light peatiness again plays around the edges.
Finish: A rich, slow, but persistent fade. You are left with left over charcoals from last night’s fire.
Comments: The Triple wood is essentially the Quarter Cask further finished in sherry barrels. It’s amazing how such a pronounced and aggressive dram like the Quarter Cask can take such a sharp right turn with the additional wood time. I don’t necessarily like one more than the other. They are like different sides to the same coin. Very intriguing. However, I do think the Triple Wood will be more approachable for those new to Islay or Laphroaig compared to the Quarter Cask.
Rating: Stands Out
I would like to thank Ben and the team over at DBC Public Relations for providing us with bottles for review.