When you see a Laphroaig bottle, you know it's a single malt Scotch. It just looks like that's what's hiding beyond the glass walls of the cool green, minimally embellished bottle. Laphroaig is the world's #1 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and they exercise a restraint of innovation that suits an authentic O.G. of the Scotch game. Their whisky is minimally messed with, their recipe tried and true, so if they start messing with things, you know it's probably going to be for a good reason.
That is the case with their seasonal re-release of Laphroaig Triple Wood (which is part of a larger expansion of whisky expressions all focusing on wood). This fall Scotch is aged in three different barrels, just like the name would indicate, and while the campfire-y, leathery peat smoke we associate with Laphroaig is still unmistakably present, it tastes about as much like a bourbon as a single malt can. So what's the deal with these barrels? We'll let Laphroaig explain.
Laphroaig Triple Wood goes through a distinct triple maturation process that includes ex-bourbon barrels, 19th Century-style quarter casks and specially selected European Oak oloroso sherry casks. This process creates a complex whisky that boasts a rich blend of creamy vanilla and hints of sweet fruit, while retaining the distinctive smoky peat flavor of Laphroaig.
The Triple Wood is 97 proof, so one sip and your insides are instantly warmed. Laphroaig recommends drinking this campfire neat, in order to allow the "powerful, yet slightly creamy consistency of the whisky speak for itself." Sipping something that is 97 proof neat probably sounds a little bit crazy, but they are actually completely correct. On our first taste, we added a few rocks, which actually only served to highlight the peat and dampen the round, rich vanilla and fruit notes the extra barrels add.
Laphroaig Triple Wood is only available seasonally, so don't wait too long to pick yours up, if it sounds like your cup of tea. The company suggests a retail price of $59.99, but we've seen it pop up around town for much more, probably due to its limited release.