Introducing Book One of The Ian Hunter Story™, a rare and collectable series of Laphroaig Super-Premium Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

 

Laphroaig® unveils The Ian Hunter Series

Introducing Book One of The Ian Hunter Story™, a rare and collectable series of Laphroaig Super-Premium Whiskies

Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig has announced a unique and exclusive series of whiskies that honours the legacy of Ian Hunter, the last of the founding Johnston family to run the Laphroaig Distillery.

Each annual release will be set into a beautifully crafted book that will document a part of Ian’s rich legacy, making this a collection unlike any other and one that is sure to be treasured by Laphroaig fans across the world.

Ian Hunter: Book One

With only 400 9L cases produced globally of this rare whisky, Book One: ‘Unique Character’ reflects Ian Hunter’s formidable character and represents everything that is traditional about Laphroaig® today. Aged in first-fill bourbon barrels, this non-chill filtered whisky is beautifully rounded with a combination of sweet, zesty and medicinal notes.  This is where Ian Hunter’s influence is most obvious, as it was his decision to introduce American white oak barrels into the maturation process of Laphroaig®. Over time, the original smokiness of this 30-year-old whisky has become less of an assault on the senses. Beautifully married with the sweet vanilla notes enhanced with ageing, the whisky develops into a more mature, well-rounded dram.

The first chapter of the story starts with American oak.  Ian’s decision to introduce American oak casks to the maturation process is perhaps his greatest legacy. Like many Scotch distilleries, Laphroaig now matures much of its whisky in ex-bourbon casks, but it was Ian who saw the opportunity for Laphroaig and changed the course of the distillery forever. It is this innovation that we celebrate in Book One of The Ian Hunter Story. This is an exquisite, 30 year old Laphroaig®, matured solely in ex-bourbon barrels in tribute to Ian Hunter.

The legendary Ian Hunter

At times polarising but highly regarded and loved by those who knew him best, Ian Hunter is one of the most important figures in the history of single malt whisky. His influencer on Islay – one of the most famous whisky-producing regions – cannot be over-stated.

Ian joined the distillery in 1908 as the youngest member of the Johnston family. His relatives, the brothers Donald and Alexander Johnston had founded the distillery in 1815. His arrival had a lasting legacy on the distillery that is still used to this day as he is credited with doubling the production and successfully exporting Laphroaig whisky around the world.

One of his biggest successes was managing to sell Laphroaig to America during Prohibition.

Ian managed to do this by leveraging the spirit’s unique character, which meant that it could be sold for medicinal purposes.

John Campbell, Laphroaig distillery manager, comments: “If you visit the Laphroaig Distillery today its clear to see the impact of Ian Hunter through the practices and innovations that are still followed.  For good reason Ian is credited as the pioneer and innovator of this incredible whisky.  Without Ian,

the Laphroaig we know today would not exist, so we have much to thank him for. It is this legacy that we celebrate throughout the series.”

This limited edition whisky is available at The Whisky Exchange and The Whisky Shop from October 2019 for an RRP of £700.  Book Two will be released in 2020.

Tasting Notes

Nose:

Sweet and medicinal with manuka honey, light peat smoke, cooked apple and rosemary vanilla. Orgeat syrup and a hint of lemon peel complete the aroma. 

Palate:

Peaty and peppery with notes of herbs, cedar, kumquat zest and gorse flower. A sweetness of custard cream and vanilla pods. 

Finish:

Coastal with subtle iodine, sea salt and seaweed notes. A touch of coffee and oaky character. 

Colour:

Burnished gold. 

ABV:

Bottled at cask strength, 46.7% ABV.

The whisky is best served neat, with ice or water, given the high ABV of this cask strength dram.

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