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Laphroaig's 'sister' distillery - never tried much from this other than its Traditional 'Quarter Cask' standard release, (which IMO is OK but not much more).
This Port Wood 12YO however, has a really intense smokey, minty nose. Further examination reveals some sharp red fruit and berry flavours lurking in there. A bit of liquorice and aniseed, followed by some sharp citrus orange. It's very fresh and enticing.
Smoke and wood tannins hit the palate first. Becomes quite sweet with blackcurrant and strawberry flavours - like fruit-flavoured hard-boiled sweets. This is followed by liquorice root and fennel notes. The palate is softer and sweeter than the nose yet quite amazingly complex for a 12YO.
It fades to a fairly sweet and pleasant finish, which lingers.
This is a lively whisky but in a positive way. It's not one for lounging back in an armchair and savouring subtleness. No, this one makes you sit up and notice it. It is a mesh of hard-hitting flavours which do all meld together very well. And at only £45, it is very good (relative to 2016 whisky prices). I am impressed.