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Laphroaig Quarter Cask

48% ABV - Islay, Scotland

Nose: It is slightly phenolic with medicinal peat smoke – okay, maybe more than “slightly”, aromas of roasted nuts and toffee, and tropical fruit hints in the background.

Taste: Wet, earthy peat, heavy smoke, and wet wood, with a sweetness, and roasted coffee or espresso leading into the finish.

Finish: Lasting charcoal, medicinal wafts, and the tropical fruits come back to say goodbye!

Laphroaig Quarter Cask. An endearing malt to many; the favourite of the bunch or best of the core range some will say. I think it is indeed a very delicious dram, but I place the Laphroaig 10 and Laphroaig Select both slightly above. In part because of the cost/value equation, but a larger part for their green and tropical fruit flavours that I was left searching for in the Quarter Cask.

However, make no mistake, this bottling is an excellent complement to the core range - it is the peatiest Laphroaig! To look at comparable bottlings, the Ardbeg 10 is in the same league - and probably some expression of Lagavulin, but (surprisingly?) I have not explored that brand in too much detail… I purchased the Quarter Cask on sale, and I think it was worth it - I’m happy to have a bottle on hand to share with my malt mates. Will I purchase it again? Most likely. I’ve found a few shops with dusty old labels (2013 or older) that might be fun to see how the batch has changed over time... But I feel there’ll be a few other bottles bought in between now and then.

As an aside, I am a big fan of Douglas Laing’s Big Peat range. Some of the medicinal wafts I get on the nose, and the sweeter, earthy peat, reminds me of those bottles – I wouldn’t be surprised if they used a larger portion of Laphroaig in that blend! (Check out my reviews of the Big Peat Christmas Edition 2017 and Big Peat Christmas Edition 2018.)

Tasting Notes (Official): Nose: Burning embers of peat in a crofter's fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas. Palate: Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness. Finish: Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice.

Details: Lot Code: L73421B1

Tasted 24 June 2019, 7 July 2019. (Posted 7 July 2019.)

85/100
Detailed Rating Information...

90+: Fantastic whisky; highly recommended. My favourite whiskies. I might have more than one bottle if the price is right and the supply is limited! The higher values in this range will reflect a stronger balance and consistency between components.
85-89: Great whisky; recommended. Whiskies that really tick the flavour boxes and you'll likely hear about these from me. Good purchase decision—I would consider buying again.
80-84: Very good whisky; recommended, but still consider trying before you buy. Anything is this range or above I would order at a restaurant or make a calculated purchase decision.
75-79: Good whisky; consider trying before you buy. These are whiskies that I enjoyed drinking, but likely would reach for another bottle from the shelf or select something different to order.
65-74: Average; consider trying before you buy, but not recommended. There is nothing that stood out about this whisky and I might be inclined to add ice, mix it with soda, or use it in a cocktail, instead of trying to enjoy its own flavours.
50-64: Bad; not recommended.


Whisky Bottle