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Triple Wood is an extension of Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Like Quarter Cask, Triple Wood is matured for 5-11 years in ex-bourbon American oak casks (Maker's Mark?) and is then transferred to smaller American oak Quarter Casks for about 8 months. According to John Campbell, Triple Wood adds one year in first fill Oloroso sherry butts and two years in refill sherry butts. European oak is used for the sherry butts. So using my superior math skills, I can deduce that Triple Wood is a vatting of whiskies that are 8-14 years old, with most probably being 10-11 years old. That last part is just a guess.
- Nose (undiluted): deep earthy peat, campfire smoke, fruitiness (plums, apricots), nuttiness, and sweet vanilla sitting on top. There’s far less iodine (seaweed) and brine than you’d expect from Laphroaig but it’s there in the background. Terrific nose.
- Palate (undiluted): very rich arrival, it feels very creamy and rounded with no perceptible alcohol burn, surprisingly soft for 48% ABV, more fruity plums, raisins and figs with vanilla, brine, and peat smoke returning.
- Finish: very long, somewhat drying. Cigar ash giving way to vanilla, then a sweet meatiness; think smoked ribs with sweet barbecue sauce.
With water, the iodine rushes forward and imposes itself alongside a menthol note on the nose. Much less fruity flavour with water added as well; instead there’s more ashy peat, vanilla and brine. The meatiness is not quite as present with water added. I prefer this one neat, though it is still pleasant with water added. There was little to no alcohol burn, so I don’t feel water to be necessary. I'm not a fan of NAS labeling, but I am a fan of this whisky. I think I like it more than the standard (43%) 10 year old. The word rich comes to mind whenever I drink it.