I noticed that my blog was somewhat lacking in the Laphroaig department. This simply cannot do as it is one of my favourite distilleries, so I’ll be adding some older notes on the various Laphroaigs I’ve tried, starting with one of their best core expressions.
This whisky is matured in quarter casks, so called because they are a quarter of the size of regular casks. There’s a nice marketing story about the days of yore and casks that could be strapped to the side of a horse bla bla bla, but at the end of the day, smaller casks means more wood contact, so more wood influence in a shorter time. Some marketing campaigns peddle this effect off as ‘making the whisky taste more mature’ but in my experience it just increases the woodiness (whereas actual maturation does lots of other stuff too).
Laphroaig started using these quarter casks as part of the maturation cycle for a number of their expressions, mainly NAS ones, such as the Triple Wood and PX but this is the basis of all that. This came without an age statement a while before it became such a common affliction, as it’s matured for only about 5 or 6 years, because of the wood contact in the smaller casks, but is priced above the 10 year old.
Aged 3 years*. 48%ABV. Matured in ex-bourbon and quarter casks.
*For lack of age statement
Nose: The seaside. Salty rocks. Rotting wood. Seaweed. Brine. Anise. Overripe banana. Smoked fish. Something warm and smelly, like well worn socks. Leather. Boiled sweets. Mulch. Some rich woody notes and mineral peat unfold with some time in the glass.
Palate: Ashy peat. Old barbeque scrapings. Charred wood. Some strong herbal notes, anise, fennel, cloves. Bit of bourbon-esque woody vanilla.
Finish: Long. Waves of smoke with a persistent dry wood note.
Would I buy this: Yes (I’ve bought several actually)
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This is one of my favourite core Laphroaigs. Has a bit more oomph to it than the 10 (I for one prefer my peaty whiskies aggressive) due to higher ABV and younger age. Obviously the wood influence here is more than in the ten year old and there’s also a fair amount of complexity to it.