Just before 2022 ends, we want to highlight some of the best whiskeys you might want to toast the new year to this weekend. Honestly, there is a lot to cover, but we have narrowed it down to remarkable releases like this Laphroaig 34-year-old Islay single malt scotch whiskey. This is The Ian Hunter Story Book 4: Malt Master.

The distillery pays tribute to the man whose name is prominently on the label. Laphroaig was established by Alexander and Donald Johnston in 1815 and was recognized for their signature smoky single malts. In 1921, Ian Hunter took over the reins and was credited for the global recognition of their blends.

The first chapter of these exclusive expressions was in 2019. Book One: Unique Character is a 30-year-old single malt that celebrates the “legacy of one man, the last of the Johnston family to own and manage the Laphroaig distillery, Ian Hunter,” read the press materials. Book 4: Malt Master continues the tale and would make a fine addition to any collection.

Distilled in 1987, this is by far the oldest in the series at 34 years old. The single malt whiskey matures in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels to start its journey. Then, it goes into first-fill European oak ex-oloroso sherry casks to finish the process. Each Book 4: Malt Master ships in a special packaging that appears just like a book.

Pour a serving of Book 4: Malt Master and take your senses on a distinct experience. The aromas are of soft smoke, eucalyptus, black pepper, cinder toffee, dried fruit, heather honey, and tobacco leaves. Meanwhile, the palate is that of orange blossom, sweet honey, iodine, peaty earth, and barbecued pork. Finally, bold ashy wood smoke lingers in the finish.

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Images courtesy of Laphroaig