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I have no idea what Laphroaig’s current core range. Whatever it is, I’m thinking this probably isn’t a part of it any more. It was for years, but I’m seeing less and less frequently.
It’s somehow eluded me despite my years of Laphroaig fandom. I’ve had and loved the Cairdeas Triple Wood Cask Strength from 2019–let’s see if the standard TW is/was worth the squeeze.
Nose: There are the standard coastal peat notes. Iodine and bandaid. Sea salt, seaweed, and brine. Tennis ball. But this one is simultaneously sweeter than other Laphroaig expressions. A mix of green and red apple, vanilla, butterscotch, and honey. Rich dark chocolate, caramel, fudge, molasses, and brown sugar represent the bourbon cask. Raisin, date, and fig for the Sherry. And a puff of campfire smoke and the black bean, red pepper chili that I’m accustomed to finding in a Laphroaig expression, but it’s in the background here. Oak and wood round out a delightful nose.
Palate: Initial burst of chestnut and peanut butter/peanut brittle. Peat, brine, seaweed, sea salt, iodine, bandaid, and tennis ball. Nice reflection of the nose. Granny Smith apple carries a touch of sour-sweetness from the nose. Butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, milk and dark chocolate, molasses. Vanilla custard. Cranberry, raisin, plum, and dried apricot. Cocoa and tobacco smoke accompany the campfire smoke and black bean, red pepper chili on the from the nose—these notes give this a slightly more smoky flare than the nose had.
Finish: Caramel, butterscotch, milk chocolate, and honey. More of the peanut butter. Campfire, hookah, and tobacco smoke. Ballpark pretzel. Black bean, red pepper chili. Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Long finish.
This is a fantastic whisky. I will be hunting for what remains of the Triple Wood, since it seems that Laphroaig has given up on this one. As an appreciator of the art, I think that is a terrible idea. This is a great experiment and an amalgamation of quality grain, powerful peat, and sensational tremendous cask selection.
I know I’m late to the party with this one. But it is a damn fine whisky. If it means salvaging what’s left in the stores around me, then it is what it is. But I’d love to this formula represented in Laphroaig’s core range once again. Regardless, this is a winner. 4.5/5.