Laphroaig and ex-bourbon barrels, a connection as sure as a rain shower on Islay when you are about to set off for the American Monument.
The development towards sherry barrel-aged Laphroaig is only logical, however, if you look at the countless UA who pimp their South Islay Coast purchases with heavily soaked sherry barrels. The last Cairdeas was already under the influence of Port + Wine, the next Cairdeas will be a PX - why should only the UA throw something like that on the market (which demands it).
In contrast to the undisclosed Islay smokers (who always only sausage Lagavulin), the sherry in the Laphroaig 10yo Sherry Oak does not look superimposed, but as if it belonged to it per se.
If I think away from the "classic" Laphroaig flavors and the experiences I've had with Laphroaig so far (if this is possible at all), it still looks rather modern, but on a high level. "Objectively" an 88-point malt - subjectively I will certainly be able to enjoy myself. I just think of “Laphroaig” away, then it's okay.
He certainly does not try to hold back with his finish in the presentation, but goes straight to attack: thick, fat sherry notes with raisins, dried figs, leather and tobacco. Smoke? Yes, it is present, but not in the Laphroaig standard version (warm tar paper, hospital corridor, seaweed), but more subtle, slowed down, less characteristic. Dark chocolate, freshly ground espresso beans, light spice.
Very sweet start with smoked dried fruits and candied wild berries. Dry, very spicy. Smoky, but also here on the tongue different from what Laphroaig is usually used to. Okay, you can just make out a clump of seaweed, but the nearest hospital is half a day's journey away - on horseback. Dark chocolate, spicy and bitter fir honey. Wild herbs, pepper, nutmeg, slightly salty. I find myself pouring myself more, even though the glass was full. “War” is the keyword here.
Medium-long, dry and spicy, long aftertaste of the smoky note, which is a touch more intense in the finish than on the tongue. Raisins, dark chocolate, nutmeg.