Whiskey — whether clean and smooth or hot and acrid — always awakens the taste buds.

Sometimes that wake-up call comes as a light tap on the shoulder, a soft note of something interesting. Other times it’s the veritable sledgehammer to the side of the head, that head-on collision with a chiseled 260-pound linebacker.

Most times the awakening is really good, and sometimes it’s great.

Sometimes it’s just simply special.

Oftentimes, it’s Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch.

This time, it’s an 84.3-proof, 27-year-old Laphroaig 27. This expression, says the company, is part of the brand’s Super Premium series, featuring mature "whisky" previously aged in refill hogsheads and transferred into first-fill bourbon barrels and refill quarter casks.

“Patiently aged in Laphroaig’s famous Warehouse No. 1, these casks were then hand-selected for a final maturation,” a news release says. “This rare whisky features a touch of Laphroaig’s trademark peat smoke tempered by lime and sea salt.”

Smoky and spicy and Laphroaig funky. Tropical fruits, citrus and a hint of salt help to refine the inherent taste of peat and campfire, finishing with warm nuts, leaf tobacco and malted chocolate.

Islay’s Laphroaig is one of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns, the company says. Laphroaig, which means “the beautiful hollow by the broad bay,” brings a distinctive taste with every bottle.

Laphroaig distillery manager John Campbell describes this amazing whisky like this: Dreams of stewed fruit and old potato sacks in the baking sun woken with carbolic soap … and lemony fresh.”

OK, then. Nevertheless, this an inherently unique, incredible whisky. It’s available only for a limited time, so start saving right away. It retails for around $750 a bottle. Would make a great present over the holidays .... if you really really really love somebody.

It's not the oldest whiskey I've had — sipped a Monongahela rye made in the late 1800s — but it's

probably the best.

As always, #OpinionsWelcome