Provenance: Islay (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex Bourbon, ex quarter cask and ex-Sherry Pedro Ximénez
Additional coloring: Yes
Average price: € 82.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Laphroaig is immediately recognisable.
Its notes of iodine and seaweed, its ‘medicinal’ scents that bring to mind hospital gauze, mouthwash, antiseptic, are so particular that in a hypothetical blind tasting even a casual drinker would have no difficulty in guessing it. A slogan from a few years ago read: ‘You either love it or you hate it’. That’s right: Laphroaig is a whisky designed to divide.
And today, standing in front of a dram of Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured, we ask ourselves: what happens when an extreme, angular whisky with a strong character meets a cask that has hosted a natural sweet wine like Pedro Ximénez?
This whisky, designed exclusively for the Travel Retail market and available in several online shops, is the result of a unique process: triple maturation.
After resting for an unspecified period of time in the classic ex-bourbon barrels, the distillate is transferred to smaller casks, the quarter casks of 125 litres. Smaller casks mean faster maturation. Ageing concludes with a passage, again for an unspecified length of time, in ex-Pedro Ximénez first fill European oak casks (i.e. filled for the first time with whisky after housing the Sherry). Bottled at 48% ABV, Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured is not chillfiltered.
The colour is a warm gold.
On the nose, the attack is unmistakable: a tray of bacon that would suffice for a week’s English breakfast, a marine note of seaweed and salt, and a “medicinal” scent that are the signature of Laphroaig, an acrid cigarette smoke that settles in the throat. But as the minutes pass, different fragrances emerge with increasing intensity: the sharpness of lemon meets the sweetness of sultanas on an intriguing base of eggnog. And we even get an impression of mochaccino which, surprisingly, remains as a memory in the empty glass several hours after tasting. A dynamic, complex, high-level nose.
In the mouth, on the other hand, despite the unusual roundness of the whisky, the richness of its nuances diminishes considerably: the marine notes of seaweed and salt, the hint of bacon and a pinch of white pepper meet no obstacles, while a really shy sultana watches from afar.
The medium-length finish is still very very marine.
On the one hand, a thrilling olfactory profile, in which the influence of the former Pedro Ximénez casks appears perfectly calibrated. On the other, a palate in which the arrogance of Laphroaig eats (almost) all the nuances. The result is an evocative whisky, at times recommendable, but slightly below expectations.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 004
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 011
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 012
Laphroaig 15yo (90s Edition)
Laphroaig Càirdeas 2010 Master Edition
Laphroaig Càirdeas Fino Cask Finish 2018
Laphroaig Càirdeas Triple Wood 2019
Laphroaig Càirdeas 2020 Port & Wine Casks
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Laphroaig The 1815 Legacy Edition
Laphroaig Triple Wood