This is the second Laphroaig we are tasting this year. Earlier in 2015 we tasted the Laphroaig An Cuan Mor. The Laphroaig PX cask and the An Cuan Mor bottling are part of a series of 3 Travel Retail Exclusive releases from Laphroaig. I notice that the PX cask and the An Cuan Mor are now available more widely, even in South Africa. The PX Cask release is quite expensive though. The third bottle in this series is the QA Cask. Laphroaig is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery on the beautiful Islay. It is named for the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of Islay.
The Johnston Brothers founded the distillery in 1810 on what was originally a family run farm. Laphroaig’s distinctive flavour comes in part from its vicinity to the coast and the high moss content of its peat, which is processed in the distillery’s own floor maltings. The Laphroaig PX Cask is made with whisky matured in three types of cask. The spirit is aged initially in American Oak Bourbon casks and then in Quarter Casks before a final finishing period in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.
The three different casks gives this Laphroaig PX bottling a flavour profile which ties together the classic, peaty Laphroaig smoke and the sherry sweetness. The distillery and brand are owned and operated by Beam Suntory, the American subsidiary of Japan’s Suntory Holdings. We took this bottle with us on our escape to the Golden Gate National Park in the Free State. What more can you ask for, the mountains in the back and a Laphroaig in the glass in front of you.
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Tasting notes for the Laphroaig PX Cask
ABV: The Laphroaig PX has an ABV of 48%.
COLOUR: A wonderful old gold colour.
NOSE: Hints of sweetness, followed by the traditional smoke and peat that Laphroaig is known for. There are hints of raisins with bits of seaweed and nuts. The nose is a wonderful balance between the peaty Laphroaig notes and the sherry sweetness.
PALATE: This dram is something else. It is a riot of different tastes. There are smoke, Christmas Cake, oak, seaweed, peat and tar mixed with hints of a coal pit and some ash. Bit of spiciness floats around in between the bare hints of the sweet wine notes. The sweetness is not overwhelming but also does not disappear in the peat. It has a wonderful balance. Water brings out more of the fruity sweetness and smooths out the peaty notes. But you need to add the water sparingly.
FINISH: Long and lingering with hints of tar covered oak, spice and ending in fruity sweet notes. An amazing dram.
We give this Laphroaig PX Cask a RATING: EXCELLENT.
The only reason we did not give this a Divine rating is that the flavours seemed a bit disjointed. There is lots of flavour, but it is as if they did not spend enough time together in the last cask.
My regular readers would know, John loves his peaty whiskies while I prefer the sweeter, softer drams. But this peaty PX Cask, blew us both away. We both loved it. The balance is perfect and the sweetness makes the coal pit, ash and tar taste like something from heaven. Strange but true!
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