This review is going to look into one of the two new release from the Laphroaig distillery aim specifically for the travel retail market. The two are known as the Laphroaig Four Oak which as the name says uses four different oak casks and the other is the Laphroaig 1815 Legacy Edition to honour the Laphroaig Master craftsman who have worked for the past two centuries and was the creation of the current Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell.
So the Laphroaig Four Oak was release a few months ago at the start of 2017 for the Travel Retail market. As I’ve stated before its creation is from the maturation in four oak casks which begin with Ex-Bourbon barrels, Quarter Casks, Virgin American Oak and finally European Oak hogsheads all imparting their unique flavour profiles. The whisky is bottled at 40% abv and found in a 1 Litre bottle. Like many of the Laphroaig’s found nowadays this is a Non Age Statement (NAS) whisky so let’s move into the tasting notes.
Colour: Bright Amber.
Nose: The nose distinctively has a bold earthy peaty smoke, a strong coastal sea breeze after a storm, vanilla and then makes way for the fruitier notes in the presence of baked apples and pears.
Palate: On the palate the texture is a light medium. I’m greeted at first from a peaty smoke followed by a light white peppery spice, iodine and toasted vanilla pods. After I let the flavours roll around the palate it uncovers more fruity flavours a burnt bitter plum skins and combination of red apples and red pears stewing together and finishing on a burnt oaky character.
Finish: The finish gives a creamy salted caramel desert but sprinkled with sea salt. Body of peat and flakes of dried sea weed.
CASKS: Ex-Bourbon Barrels, Quarter Casks, Virgin American Oak & European Oak Hogsheads.
DISTILLERY: Laphroaig Distillery
COMPANY: Beam Suntory
REGION/ORIGIN: Islay, Scotland
EXCLUSIVE: Yes (Travel Retail Exclusive)
Comments: My opinion on the Laphroaig Four Oak is that it’s a good whisky with a consistent body of peaty smoke which doesn’t reduce over time. The let-down for me is the fact that it’s bottled at 40% abv and I feel it could have been left at a higher abv. When I look at the price and do a comparison to the Triple-Wood (domestic market) and QA cask (Travel Retail market) they all seem to be priced at £50 but for the flavour profiles the Four Oak definitely offers more and for the 1 Litre bottle I feel is better value for money. As for the question on whether it needs any water I would avoid as the texture becomes to light however for the flavour profile it does uncover the fruitier note more quickly.