Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry Refill
Added colouring: No
Owner: Morisco Spirits
Price: € 155.00 on Morisco Spirits
Official website: moriscospirits.com
Second release in the Stillness series, and on the label we end up with a panorama that some may recognise, identifying the mysterious distillery behind this history-laden name.
Usual teaspooning so as to avoid the explicit declaration of the content, which Andrea Morisco chose to call Single Malt anyway and not use the fig-leaf of blended, which after an initial maturation in ex-bourbon ended up for an unspecified (but certainly not long) period in a second-fill butt ex-sherry.
150 bottles produced not at cask strength for a product that will certainly not leave peat lovers indifferent.
The nose is a Christmas cake dipped in seawater: candied citron, sultanas, cinnamon, cloves, leavened dough and iodine in profusion. Smokes of toasted wood and juniper envelop the sweet, with gusts of incense carrying veins of liquorice root, a touch of baked apple and orange marmalade (at times with an impression of sacher torte). Intense, pungent and coastal as it should be.
On the palate it is milder, but not too much, letting the sweeter side emerge more strongly in a very thick, oily body. Some fruit (baked apple, currants, black cherries in syrup, candied citrus fruits) pounded on the rocks with some chopped smoked herring, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, liquorice and a pushed savouriness. And smoke, intense, chewy, dirty(ish)o and medicinal. It doesn’t give way a step, thanks also to the aptly-judged alcohol content that discreetly backs it up, so much so that the addition of water is superfluous and perhaps even deleterious.
A long finish of salt and iodine, spice and smoke, candied and red fruit, and boisterous peat.
The beauty of Laphroaig’s single casks is all here, in rediscovering the soul of the distillery that has been diluted (if not lost) in the basic bottlings (and even in some special editions). The cost is important, and so is this bottle: if you love the distillery, don’t miss it.