Tasting Notes for Laphroaig “Triple Wood” Single Malt Islay Scotch

Today I got to sample some Laphroaig Triple Wood single malt scotch. I bought a bottle of it at a whisky show a couple months back. I should have picked up two bottles. The peat-based Islay scotches have always been my favourites and except for the Quarter Cask edition, I’ve never tasted a Laphroaig that did not leave me wanting more. So I’ll just cut the chase:

Nose (neat): Burt wood, seaweed, peat, oak.
Mouth (neat): Granite then moss, coffee with cream, hint of mango.
Finish (neat): Warm, smoke, earthy, smooth.

After just a touch of water:

Nose: Explodes like cherry flavoured pipe tobacco and milk chocolate.
Mouth: Mowed grass, green apples, camomile.
Finish: Smoke, cocoa and light peat.

The regular Laphroaig 10 is a young but richly-flavoured peaty scotch and fine company for something like Lagavulin 16, which is the king of Islay scotches in my book. I like the Triple Wood more than the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. I can tell more work went into making the Triple Wood. It’s more complex and mature. But it’s not better (or worse) than the regular Laphroaig. It’s unmistakeably Laphroaig, but it adds some burnt wood, smooth pipe smoke, earthy cocoa and a touch of sweetness to the mix. It opens up well with a dash of water and goes down with a hint of heat but smooth and smoky and satisfying.

If I could only pick two bottles from Islay to always have in my house for under $100 each, I’d want a bottle of Laphroaig Triple Wood and Lagavulin 16.

Here’s Ralfy’s review. For him, the Quarter Cask is better. For me, it’s the Triple Wood.

The 18 and older Laphroaigs are probably even better, but for under $100, and because it seems more complex and smoother than regular Laphroaig — so it’s like regular Laphroaig with a little extra something — the Triple Wood is the Laphroaig for me. At least for now.

ADDENDUM: What I said about Lagavulin 16 no longer applies.

A Peaty Opinion of Macallan Single Malts

I recently had a chance to sample a variety of world class single malt scotches, including a 30-year-old Macallan that sells for about $1200 for a 750ml bottle. (That’s around $50 per oz./30ml.) T’was one of the smoothest single malts I’ve ever tasted. The Macallan 15 I sampled ($130 per bottle) was full of caramel and sherry with a bit of a bite to it. The Macallan 18 ($300 per bottle), aged in sherry casks, not fine oak like the others, removed the bite and added some smoke and cream. The Macallan 21 ($350 per bottle) did more of the same but maltier. The Macallan 30 was nothing but smooth. However, the $1200 for the Macallan 30 might be better spent on ten or twelve bottles of equally exceptional whiskies than on a single bottle I’d be afraid to spill every time I opened it. The difference between the 18 and 30 is negligible. Here’s a review of the Macallan 10:

I’m a lover of the peaty single malt Scotch whiskies, namely the Islay single malts, but having the chance to sample the higher end non-Islay scotches almost converted me. Nearly all the whiskies 18 years and older were magnificent. No peat? No problem — because the depth and the complexity of the scotches did nothing but take me on a pleasure trip. I’m still not sold on Macallan, mainly because it doesn’t get great until about 18 years at $300 a bottle. Whereas the Lagavulin 16 (my go-to single malt) hits the same mark — and even higher for lovers of the peat — for less $100.

ADDENDUM: Sadly, Lagavulin 16 ain’t what it used to be.

“Farmers Feed Cities” T-Shirt

I just want to say thanks to Tommyboy for sending me a big box full of his super fantastic Prancing Pachyderms kettle popcorn along with some other goodies from Owen Sound, including this t-shirt:

It’s a beauty. A perfect fit for my slowly expanding gut. I wear it all the time. A few jars of honey from my hives will be on your way some time in October, buddy.

In honour of this momentous occasion… we’re having ribs!

We made ribs last night and they were delicious, easily the best ribs we’ve ever made. Here are the ribs after they’ve been cooked on a low heat for six hours and before they went on the BBQ grill and got an extra coating of BBQ sauce.

The darker ribs are side ribs. The lighter ones are baby back ribs, though both got exactly the same treatment and were equally delicious. We followed an easy recipe from Food.com and it worked perfectly. The meat fell of the ribs just like Gawd intended. We didn’t have a clue about ribs until now. We used to think ribs had to be tenderized through boiling. But now we know: peel off the membrane from the ribs; massage the ribs with a rub consisting of brown sugar, paprika, etc.; wrap them twice in tinfoil; keep them in the fridge overnight; place them in the oven at 200°F / 95°C for six hours; let them cool down to room temperature; remove the tinfoil and reheat them on an outdoor grill with an extra coating of home made BBQ sauce. Beautiful. That’s how we’ll make them in the future now that we know how it’s done.