An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels, before transfer into quarter casks, and a third maturation in Oloroso sherry European oak butts. Astonishing with oodles of peat smoke and sweetness. Nose: Molasses and oily toffee. Dates, walnuts, notes from the Maker’s Mark barrels (vanilla, toastiness, sweetness etc). We got oodles of butter, zest, cool wood smoke, almond, and passion fruit. Palate: Dry and medicinal, with exotic spices, perhaps even some turmeric. The palate is surprisingly savoury at first, with what John described as “dry dampness” (taste and it’ll make sense!) - think musty wood sheds and hints of moist autumnal forest floor. The sherry notes are there too, but rather than being the big Christmas pudding flavour one often expects from Oloroso-aged whisky, we are instead treated to a much more restrained iced fruitcake, graced with hints of Laphroaig’s classic smoke. Finish: Oaked. The mustiness carries into the finish, which lasts for a good while, with oily spices and dried fruit.