Origin: Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-European Oak
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Laphroaig’s ‘big ocean’ is an exclusive (but not too exclusive) edition for the Travel Retail market, which adds to the classic maturation in ex-Bourbon casks an ageing in virgin European casks (less common than American ones, as they are on average more expensive).
For many, fresh wood is a risk for the whisky, as it can be over-influenced by, of course, woody hints, but daring is always interesting…
Bottled au naturel, at the strength often found in Travel Retail versions, with ageing for an unspecified time between the two types of barrels: official information is scarce, but we make do with it.
Full gold in the glass.
On the nose, you feel the wood first, with very marked sensations of resin and spices, where the peat grafts itself gently into its more vegetal tonality. Over time, the toast emerges with a slight medicinal streak, which hovers above all in the distance, while the aromas of unripe banana, white melon, almonds, honey and a hint of vanilla remain dominant. Quite elegant.
The mouthfeel is lively spiced (pepper, nutmeg), spread over a good consistency of peat, here much more present and saline, which like a wave submerges and mixes with the impressions on the nose, in a crescendo of dried fruit (pecans too) to the detriment of the sweeter notes. The roughness of leather appears in the background, with a hint of tea leaves.
The finish is quite long and spicy, lots of pepper and nutmeg on medicinal and smoked peat with dried fruit, leather and liquorice.
A curious Laphroaig, different and yet recognisable, the gamble of the European woods proves successful even if with some excess, which remains however pleasant and with a certain elegance.
The Scotch Noob