Showing posts with label Laphroaig Four Oak Re-Visit August 2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laphroaig Four Oak Re-Visit August 2021. Show all posts

Laphroaig Four Oak Re-Visit August 2021

”Water of Life”

Whisky Review # 925


On February 8, 2019 I reviewed a sample of the NAS Laphroaig Four Oak, bought from my reliable Dutch supplier Whiskysite. I was not impressed to put it mildly and it was one the worst Laphroaig expressions I have tasted so far. Let's start with an edited shorter version of the above mentioned Review. You can see the complete review here.

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Laphroaig Four Oak
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon, Quarter, Virgin American Oak, European Oak Hogsheads
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 55-75 (February 2019)
Buying Advice: 😡Come On Laphroaig, you can do much better! P/Q ratio: 👎


Young, Light, Sour and Dusty. Some of the famous Laphroaig Aromas are there but in a Watered-Down form. Re-Fill Wood and New Oak are noticeable and so is the Alcohol. The Nose is not really bad but it kinda smells like work in progress.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Slightly Burnt Toast, Dirty Peat, Cold Smoke, Caramel, Lemon Ice Tea, Grass, Green Apple, Unripe Banana, Wood Pellets, Smoked Fish, Floral Soap, Salt and Espresso.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Iodine, Soot, Ashes, Tar, Plastic, Rubber, Gas Station, Cheese, Mineral notes, Bounty Candy Bars and a hint of Sweaty Feet.


Young and Thin. A mix of Sugary Sweet and Sour notes. Lots of Alcohol. Again this feeling of Unfinished Business.

Main Flavours:

Peated Grist, Dirty Peat, Cold Smoke, Salted Caramel, Floral Perfume, Smoked Fish and Shellfish, Green Apple, Pear, Green Banana, Lemon, Licorice, Pepper & Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toasted Nuts, Vanilla, Soot, Ashes, Tar, Plastic, Rubber, Iron and Espresso.


Middle-Long and very Thin. A mixture of Sugary Sweet & Sour with some Bitterness that develops with time. Medium Dry. I find Peated Grist, Salted Caramel, Dirty Peat, Cold Smoke, Soot, Ashes, Brine, Iodine, Floral Soap, Lemon, Grapefruit, Smoked Fish & Shellfish, Vanilla, Espresso, Licorice, Pepper, Nutmeg and Casted Iron. Clearly a very young Islay Malt. The Alcohol is still noticeable.

Rating: 78

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5


Whisky derives from the old Scottish Gaelic word Uisge-Beatha, Water of Life. It seems to me that Laphroaig takes this a bit too literally with this Four Oak. You use Water for making Whisky but it should not taste as such! Laphroaig used to be a Single Malt that you either liked or hated. With Single Malts like the Four Oak that's not the case anymore. This is overpriced young Islay malt that should probably convince newbies that Peated Whisky is not something you should be afraid of. I know there's a shortage of aged Spirit and I know there's a shortage of good and affordable casks. But I also know that you can't (yet) replace sufficient maturation by New Wood and Smaller Casks.  The Four Oak is a good example of that. It smells and tastes like a rush job. I don't think that Laphroaig is doing itself and the market a favour by releasing Single Malts like this. This is not the way to go. Laphroaig should not be a whisky that's kinda Peaty, kinda Light, kinda Watery and kinda okay.


Re-Visit Laphroaig Four Oak

About a month ago I received a full bottle of the Four Oak as a gift. It was bought at the Travel Retail Shop of the Frankfurt Airport in Germany. I opened the bottle and decided to give the Four Oak another chance. Here are my findings:


Not much to add or subtract to my original findings. I think they're spot-on. I do find it a little less Dusty and I will add 0,5 points to the Nose accordingly.


It's almost a Peat-flavored Gin. Okay, perhaps I'm exagerating a little but you get the picture. My notes of two years ago totally stand.


Very Thin and the worst part of this Laphroaig. No reasons to change the score.


The Laphroaig Four Oak deserved a second chance on account of the fact that sometimes you will find differences between samples and a full bottle. But that's not the case here. The Four Oak simply isn't a well-made Single Malt and I can't begin to understand why such a fine Distillery would launch a mediocre Malt like this if not out of necessity for lack of aged Spirit and good affordable casks. In any case I do believe that the Whisky Industry should not extensively enter this Road to Nowhere. I added half a point to the Nose so the final score of this Re-Visit is 78.5. And that's not something that Laphroaig should be proud of! 😠

Rating: 78.5 

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5

Jan van den Ende                                                                         August 4, 2021