Today we’re gonna look at one of the two latest Travel Retail releases from Laphroaig. The Four Oak was released in early 2017 and as the name states, it was matured in four different oak casks: Ex-bourbon barrels. Small quarter casks, virgin American oak barrels and larger European Oak hogshead.
You know the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”? In our cask it will be: Will too many cask types spoil the whisky? Since it follows two very mediocre and similar releases (Yes, I’m looking at you Laphroaig QA and Select), I was a bit wary of this one. But maybe this time it will work better?
Nose: sweet, earthy peat smoke, iodine, cereals, honey, not a strong peat reek, quite gentle but feels rounder than QA/Select. After a few minutes in the glass some greenery. cardamom, a tad farmy with metallic metallic, salt water, Lapsang Souchong tea, more sweet smoke, getting sweeter and flatter.
Palate: A bit weak delivery, sweet honey and vanilla with peat smoke, then bitter wood and white pepper, brine, ends with some greenery, sweet and metallic edge.
Finish: Short medium length, creamy, sweet, peat smoke, brine and bitter oak spices.
Thoughts: No doubts it’s a better offering than both Select and QA. It’s a Laphroaig for dummies with easy and gentle peat coupled with sweetness. My only complaint: It’s too weak at 40%. It would be a much better offer at 46% with more oomph and flavors.