One of the most distinctive and well loved distilleries on the isle of Islay, Laphroaig gets its name from Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island. The distillery was founded by Donald and Alexander Johnston. In 1847, Donald tragically died after falling into a scalding vat of whisky by-products, and the distillery was managed briefly by neighbouring Lagavulin until Donald’s son Dugald took control in 1857. Until 1954, the distillery was owned by the Johnston family and has since had a number of owners. It is currently operated by Beam Suntory – with Suntory being a prominent Japanese brewing and distilling company. During the American Prohibition, Laphroaig made it through customs being sold as “Medicinal Spirit”, due to its high Iodine flavour, and the belief from officials that no one would drink such a spirit for pleasure! Laphroaig’s unique flavour come from their vicinity to the coast and the high moss content of their peat. It is famously Prince Charles’s favourite whisky, but is also a worldwide favourite, and the best selling Islay malt.
Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured
This expression was initially released as a travel retail exclusive. This is their standard ten year old matured in American Oak casks, then quarter casks and finished in Pedro Ximenez casks. We tried it with and without a couple of drops of water.
Price: £79.95 (Master of Malt)
This dram comes in at 48% ABV and, delightfully, is sold in 1 litre bottles.
Appearance: Straw gold
Nose: sweet honey and vanilla are balanced by heavy, barbecued peat, smokey sandalwood and dark leather. There are hints of marzipan and oats. Whilst there is a lighter scent of TCP when compared to typical Laphroaig, it is still there, along with notes of burning fauna, roasted rosemary and paraffin.
Palate: Heavy char and dry smoke overpower the palate, like an ashy barbecue on a dry summer day. The marzipan and honey from the nose come through into the palate, along with subtle hints of sherry and red grapes.
Finish: The finish is smooth, sharp and lingers, with notes of heavy smoke, ash and leather.
With a couple of drops of water, this dram becomes less intense. The peat mellows and sweeter flavours shine through. Whilst it is still dry, there are stronger notes of fruits, grape and honey.