Ultra-aged expressions of Laphroaig can be some mighty fine whisky. For 2018, the distillery has released a 28-year-old expression. The whiskies that make up this expression have matured in different sized casks, from quarter casks to butts. For the last year, they’ve been married together in sherry casks. Peated whisky in sherry casks? I’m sold.
Bottled at 44.4% ABV, Laphroaig 28-year-old has a fantastically interesting nose with hints of toffee, dried herbs, tropical fruit, anise, and cloves. On the palate, fresh fruit juice and stewed pears are matched with toasted cedar staves, peppercorns, brine and grilled mushrooms. The finish is long with sweet peat, grilled tropical fruit, and spice.
The Islay-based distillery has done it again. It’s released a carefully matured whisky showcasing some of its best qualities. This expensive ($799) bottle is a treasure trove of classic Laphroaig aromas and flavors delivered in droves. The tropical fruit and spice notes are prominent, as the famous medicinal-like notes come across in a more laid back fashion. Delicious. Yes. Expensive? Definitely. Worth it? If you can afford it. 9/10
Thanks to Laphroaig for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Balvenie is known for its honeycomb-led flavor profile. One week a year, The Balvenie distills a heavily peated malt. That week, known as Peat Week, leads us to this wonderful whisky. Distilled back in 2002, this 14-year-old expression from the famed distillery utilizes only peated barley – no non-peated malt here. That whisky matured in American oak casks.
In addition to being bottled at a modest 48.3% abv, Peat Week is also non-chill filtered.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
The nose is exactly what you’d expect. Notes of honeyed malt, wood smoke, lemon peel, and sweet oak abound. More of the same on the palate. A quick explosion of rich, sweet honeycomb and vanilla followed by a wave of tempered smoke. Some sautéed mushroom on the mid palate is accompanied by toffee and wood spice. The finish is clean and lovely, with hints of burnt orange peel, toffee, and peat smoke.
I love this “heavy” side of The Balvenie. I use the quotations for a reason. The Balvenie’s standard profile is generally that a lighter style whisky, though it still has some richness. The peat here is not heavy handed. Rather, it nicely balances with that honeycomb nature generally found in The Balvenie. Peat Week’s a great way to experience The Balvenie. At $99 a bottle, this is an easy recommendation. 8.5/10
Thanks to The Balvenie for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photo Credit: Joshua Brasted
How’s this for attention grabbing – a peated Glenfiddich finished in rum casks.
I repeat – peated Glenfiddich finished in rum casks.
If I’ve lost you, there’s no hope.
If you’re still on board, Glenfiddich Fire & Cane is the latest entry to their Experimental Series. Glenfiddich isn’t known for its peated whisky because, to my knowledge, it rarely releases any peated expressions. We’re not talking Laphroaig peat levels here. Bourbon barrel-matured peated AND unpeated whisky is blended together and then married in Latin rum casks for three months. The resulting whisky was bottled at 43% abv and is available in stores for $49.99.
Rum fans should enjoy the nose with its tropical fruit, sugarcane, and slightly earthy peat notes. On entry, sweet toffee and green banana develop into spiced pears, smoke, and wood spice. The medium length finish leave a sweet caramel and slightly smoky note.
Delicious. The spiced pear Glenfiddich flavor profile works beautifully with those smoky and rum notes. At 43% abv, Fire & Cane doesn’t feel thin. Though I’d love to have seen this bottled at a little higher proof, it’s current abv serves it well. Bottom line: this whisky delivers big flavors at a price that will please both your palate and your wallet. Recommended! 8/10
Thanks to Glenfiddich for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.