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Laphroaig Triple Wood

The Sweetest Time

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@KalekasReview by @Kalekas

26th Sep 2010


Laphroaig Triple Wood
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Well, this is an odd one and no mistake! A Laphroaig which has shook hands with a sherry butt after spending time knocking round with our old friends the bourbon barrel and the wee one, the quarter cask.

I distrust my nose because it's telling me honey and almonds while my heid tells me it's meant to be an Islay knuckle-dragger, reeking of peat and delivering a snoot-full of phenols. Where's the tar, not to mention the liniment? This is a Laphroaig which has been tamed and forced into a dinner jacket for goodness sakes!

Sweeter than expected, with the 'medicinal' notes kept at bay by sugar. A spoonful of sugar indeed!

And yet, as you chew away at it the layers of praline give way to ... furniture polish? ... boiled sweeties? ... cloves?

Christ this is a puzzler: in place of a leisurely sit-down with a good dram, letting your mind wander this whisky keeps drawing attention to itself - "Concentrate!" it seems to be saying. "there's all sorts of things going on here", "Sit up straight".

Ok, focus: it's delicious but daft, potty and perplexing. It's actually making me want to revisit and re-evaluate some of those strange Glenmorangie experiments with different woods which I doubt was the maker's intention.

So, closer to a Macallan than an Ardbeg. Is it worth the money? An emphatic 'yes'; it's a damn fine whisky. Would I serve it to my friends? Not to all of them, just to the more adventurous of them. Will I buy another bottle? Probably not ... I'm a hedonist and I don't want my whisky to make me think too much.

And that's just what this one does, provoking and teasing, posing questions, delivering no easy answers. At least it's helped me decide: my next bottle of whisky for sharing's going to be Ardbeg ... or Glenmo ... or ... God help me.

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LeFrog commented

The sherried and peated whisky is a tricky thing to get right. This sounds interesting though...

13 years ago 0

AboutChoice commented

Isn't Highland Park 12 one of the most successful examples of a sherried and peated malt (albeit more lightly smoked)? I'll have to start saving up for this Triple Wood ! Good review @kalekas.

13 years ago 0

Kalekas commented

Hey there, @AboutChoice. I agree completely about Highland Park 12yo (and HP18yo) as a successful blend of smoke and sophistication. However, that's been HP's house style for as long as I know. In the same way that Laphroaig's all about the linament, as Ardbeg's all about the phenols/kippers/tar/etc.

No-one who splashes out on a bottle of Triplewood will be disappointed (perplexed, possibly) but it still seems like a dog which has suddenly started to miaow (apropos to which last, I typed 'Arfbeg' by happy mistake in the first draft).

I'd be delighted to hear some more about TW experiences, and I'm sorry that it arrived at market too late to be in Jim Murray's 2010 Whisky Bible.

13 years ago 0