48% ABV - Islay, Scotland
Nose: Dark raisins, chocolate off a popsicle stick – woody and sweet, ripe fruits, manuka honey, spices. Smoke is dense but with mineral character.
Taste: Throughout the entire delivery the flavours are powerful. I suspect that the 48% ABV must be contributing to the concentration of deliciousness. Mesquite wood, BBQ meat, dark fruits, and raisins. And these flavours are all really packed together and intertwined.
Finish: Charcoal grill, orchard fruit compote, spices – cinnamon, chicory root, and a lasting dose of fresh, earthy peat.
This Laphroaig PX Cask is a Travel Retail Exclusive (TRE) bottling released in 2013. Three types of casks were used to create this expression: American oak casks, Quarter casks, and Pedro Ximénez casks – this “recipe” makes me wonder if some of this liquid would otherwise have been destined for the Quarter Cask expression! I feel that I have had such great luck, in terms of quality, when picking up TRE bottles as I travel through an airport (or land crossings). Normally I will try to find a local shop with a good selection of whisky to pick from, but often enough I’ve been in and out of a city in less than 24 hours, and it sure makes that errand and exploration hard to do! This bottle was my treat-your-self for a hard week of travel (there can always be a reason, you see).
Earlier this year I opened a bottle of 7-Year Old Laphroaig, matured in an ex-Sherry butt, and this has some comparable flavours. It actually tastes as though it is matured for more time, but perhaps the PX Cask was just placed in more active refill casks. For the record, it’s not clear if these are first fill or not… typically I will assume it is not - because that “first fill” designation is a marketable term (just like non-chill filtered can be). But I digress… I rated that ex-Sherry Laphroaig very highly (highest rating posted here to date). The PX Cask is a little more sweet and slightly less balanced, but, especially when you consider this comes in 1L sizing, it is better value. And now all this ex-Sherry talk has me excited to open the 2018 Cairdeas ex-Fino, though I do remember that one being even less sweet!
The Laphroaig PX Cask delivers an inviting amount of dark fruit and raisin sweetness on the nose, followed up with a sweet, earthy peat, and just enough medical character to suit, while the finish dries out with peat smoke and continuing dark fruits.
Tasting Notes (Official): Nose: Sherry aroma of sweet sultanas and raisins with a hint of sweet liquorice. Palate: Peat and oakiness and a sweeter heavy sherry flavour. Finish: Concentrated peat and thick sherried oak with a deep dryness. Body: An intense and profound depth.
Details: Date Code: 2014 12 20. Lot Code: L8017M8.
Tasted 18 June 2019. (Posted 24 June 2019.)