Whisky brand Laphroaig has begun to release an incredible new collection, and if the first bottle is any indication, it’ll be one of the best series of the decade.
The first bottle of Laphroaig’s Ian Hunter Story collection is a 30-year-old, ex-bourbon cask single malt full of flavor (and worthy of the large amount of effort you’ll have to expend to find it).
Ian Hunter, for those wondering, is one of Laphroaig’s legendary owners, and the last in a long line of members of the Johnston family to own and operate the distillery. Hunter managed Laphroaig between 1908 and 1944. He is credited both with experimental new visions and dedication to traditions that have made Laphroaig one of the most polarizing whiskies in the world.
Laphroaig is known for its unique flavor profile. The seaside distillery, in-house maltings, and signature peat character can give the whiskies an incredible range of odd flavors. Laphroaig can taste like iodine, sea foam, salted meat, Band-Aids—depending on the bottle and the drinker.
But at 30 years, the Book One whisky is decidedly tempered. Laphroaig, in its old age, mellows greatly, and at least in the case of this bourbon-aged release, shows earthier, sweeter intonations of sea salted caramel, vanilla cream, dark chocolate and dark-roasted coffee, among many others. It’s bottled at cask strength, which came out to a near-perfect 46.7 percent ABV. A few drops of water may be warranted on occasion, but much else would be an incredible waste.
And as rare as this whisky is, you don’t want to waste it (especially with a staggering $1,250 price tag—though that price for a 30-year-old bottle is a relative value in the whiskey world).
Bottles are quite hard to come by: Just 400 cases of this whisky have been released worldwide, totaling about 4,800 bottles in its entirety. Laphroaig sold them directly for a short time, but those sold out quickly. In order to find one for yourself, you’ll likely have to do some hitting of the pavement. But whisky series have skyrocketed in value as collectables in recent years, and the more “Ian Hunter Story” releases you get your hands on, the higher the value will go.
The distillery currently has a total of 15 “books” planned. With the second release also set to debut this year, this series clearly has a lot of momentum behind it. Book One is already a delicious whisky, but as other books come out, this one will only become more coveted.
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