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It’s not as if scotch distillery Laphroaig needs to remind anyone that the focus of its whisky is on peat, but that’s exactly what its latest single malt is doing. The first release in the new Wall Collection is called Peat Edition, and according to the distillery this is a whisky that doubles down on its famously smoky character.
The Wall Collection is a new whisky series from Laphroaig that is meant to highlight “the people, passions, and place at the heart” of the distillery through different cask finishes. To that end, Peat Edition is a 36-year-old whisky that was finished in a barrel which previously held younger, heavily peated Laphroaig whisky. That step makes sense—after more than three decades inside a barrel the peat level tends to dissipate a bit, so that secondary maturation supposedly brought it back to the very high levels you’d expect from this whisky. “The Wall Collection is hugely exciting for us as it celebrates two of the most enduring and iconic elements of our whisky and our distillery, the peat we use to imbue our barley with its distinctive deep, smoky flavor and the striking white walls of our distillery,” said distillery manager Barry MacAffer in a statement. “Matured in ex-bourbon casks, this spirit has been finished in a cask which has reintensified the smokiness that usually takes a back seat in older whisky.”
There are just 200 bottles of Peat Edition available, bottled at cask strength of 42.5 percent ABV. Each bottle was hand painted by illustrator Laura Carlin with the same paint used on the walls of Laphroaig‘s Warehouse No. 1. She drew her inspiration from the bricks of peat that are used to dry the malted barley to imbue it with its characteristic smoky flavor. “I loved immersing myself in Islay life and Laphroaig distillery’s place amongst the scenery and the community,” she said. “The slow, humble and evocative method in which the Peat Edition was made was a huge inspiration for creating the bottles.”
Peat Edition will be initially available exclusively to the Friends of Laphroaig community group (SRP $4,500), and then at specialty retailers. If you can’t wait to sip some smoky Islay whisky, you can find the entire Laphroaig lineup available to purchase from ReserveBar.