Age: No age statement
Laphroaig Triple Wood’s name is a bit of a giveaway. As you might expect, this whisky has aged in three different types of cask, making it essentially an Oloroso sherry finished Quarter Cask. What the name does not tell you though, is that this is a fantastic drop of whisky, a Laphroaig with a twist. Compared to some of the distillery’s more youthful offerings, Triple Wood is a mellower, more sophisticated dram. The nose is expressive, the body velvety and rich, while the finish still provides plenty of peat smoke.
Although Triple Wood was formerly a travel retail exclusive, its popularity has earned it a place among Laphroaig’s core range. It is a distinction well earned, as this is one of the distillery’s very finest whiskies.
Colour: Burnished copper
Nose: There’s a deep, winey smell to the Triple Wood, and it’s not instantly recognisable as a Laphroaig. The usual medicinal character is much more subdued, but this is substituted for an almost enigmatic complexity. Scents of sandalwood and rich red fruit give way to earthy notes of autumn leaves and fragrant heather. The coastal aromas are never far off, carrying a whiff of peat smoke and just a hint of seaweed. Absolutely fascinating.
Palate: Oily, velvety and extremely full-bodied, this Laphroaig oozes sophistication. Any restraint that was present in the nose is thrown into the wind, as flavours of charred wood and barbecued meat kick in. Oaky notes mingle with tantalising flavours of dried fruit and allspice, like fragrant wood on fire, or a bottle of perfume set alight. Although this is a sumptuous whisky, you could never call it delicate, so it remains right up Laphroaig’s alley.
Finish: Not overly fiery, but quite long nonetheless. The Triple Wood leaves behind a very pleasant aftertaste of grilled seafood and mellow peat smoke.
Verdict: Whoah did I enjoy that! Laphroaig Triple Wood is an extremely distinguished dram, combining the bold, outspoken distillery character with a complexity that three different types of cask have imparted on the whisky. True, other Laphroaigs have undergone similar maturation, but as the Four Oak makes clear, adding extra casks is no guarantee for success. The Triple Wood is in another league altogether though, making its sherry sibling PX Cask (a dram I really like) seem thin and sharp by comparison. Combine this with Triple Wood’s attractive price point and you’ve got a real winner. Good thing then that the Triple Wood now forms part of Laphroaig’s core range, because a whisky this superb is worth coming back to!