Now that my cold is receding (after 5 horrible days), I can move onto my next tasting.
I first tried Laphroaig (pronounced laff-roig) Quarter Cask a few months ago after it appeared in the local liquor store here.
The term “quarter cask” refers to the fact that it is matured in a second smaller (quarter sized) cask after the original maturation in a regular oak cask. This adds an extra depth of flavour and aroma to an already fine malt.
One feature I particularly appreciate is that it is non-chill filtered, allowing the whisky to retain more of its real characteristics along with the natural oils that cause the whisky to cloud up slightly when water is added. Note that I recommend the addition of water for this particular single malt given the bottled alcohol strength of 48%.
1. First impressions: Appearance and aroma
The color of Laphroaig Quarter Cask is deeper from my recollection of the regular Laphroaig, which is to be expected given the additional cask maturation. The actual tone and color reminds me a lot of an apple cider, with a nice golden orange hue. The aroma is also quite ‘woody’ with a sweet and subtle peaty smokiness. There is also a hint of English christmas cake.
2. Taste and Finish
The palate is sophisticated, and the peaty flavour is much more subtle than from the nose. I get hints of anise and cloves, finishing very long and getting sweeter as the flavour diminishes.
3. Overall Impression
This is an excellent single malt. When I first started getting into single malts I really didn’t like Laphroaig, but over time as my taste became more varied I really appreciated the depth of flavour in this producers offerings. The Quarter Cask is no exception, and is probably once of my favourite Islay whiskys. I would rate it an 8 out of 10.