I had the chance to try the Laphroaig Triple Wood after my brother brought a bottle round (along with the Octomore when he was staying with us last month.
The Triple Wood refers to the three cask maturations which the whisky has had; American Oak Bourbon, Quarter Cask and then finished in a European Oak Sherry cask which should introduce some extra dried fruit sweetness to complement the typical Laphroaig ‘rich flavour’.
At the time you could only buy this bottling from the distillery or travel retail, but having seen it in the supermarket recently, it seems to be more widely available now.
It’s recognisable as a Laphroaig, with the tell-tale TCP and iodine notes along with a decent bit of smoke, though much less than the 10-year old. The traditional bourbon sweetness is there too, but complemented by the dried fruit from the extra cask.
Overall a pleasant and balanced nose.
First taste is gentle smoke with a leathery dryness. Not as much sherry fruit as you might expect, it seems to add to the dryness but there is still some stewed fruit in there. Sweetness is present though, with toffee and vanilla accompanying the salty smoky flavours and the sherry does seem to balance things out a bit.
Expected smoke in the finish, but containing some sweetness and slight bitter chocolate notes.
I like this Laphroaig Triple Wood overall, but can appreciate that it may be an acquired taste for some Laphroaig fans. The extra maturation in the Sherry cask does bring sweetness and some balance to the whisky, but this is at the expense of the strength of smoke and some of the other typical Laphroaig flavours.
It’s not the best Laphroaig I’ve ever tasted but at the same time it’s always interesting when distillers try something different and I feel it’s been quite successful.
Like the Bowmore Enigma, the balance of sherry and smoke works well for me so I would recommend giving this expression a go if you get a chance.