Laphroaig has never been a favourite of mine, but since my experience with the 10 year old has been limited I figured I would give it a shot.
The nose doesn't disappoint. Full peat smoke with antiseptic, though less medicinal than Lagavulin. Tends more toward cold fireplace and mothball aromas. With time, some sweet black licorice and cocoa.
Medium-bodied on the tongue. Surprisingly soft delivery with smoky peat and oak. Moderate sweetness, some light citrus and vanilla and lots of wood char. Mid-palate, some chewy fudge and that tingling licorice again. The finish is, of course, long and peaty but retains some sweetness.
Comparing from memory, I enjoy this 10 year old a lot more than the Quarter Cask, which always seemed rather one-dimensional to me. Possibly my opinion would be different now, but in any case this one finds a good balance between smoke and sweetness, come across very clean and well-made. Also nice to see that the bottle from the LCBO remains at 43% while in other parts of the world it seems more common to find it at 40%
@Megawatt - solid review of a benchmark malt. I am one of the unfortunate ones who gets it at 40%, I'm afraid. As such, it's somewhat off my radar, what with such variety in peat options. That said, I'd never turn a dram (or bottle!) down!
Been a while since I had the QC but always thought it less peaty and more oaky than the 10 but more weighty and better in the mouth due to the higher abv.
In my opinion the 10 year is less prone to wide batch variation than the Quarter Cask. I obviously enjoy both, but some batches of QC seem to lack a little depth at times while others are heavenly. Thanks for the review. I'm not sure how I missed it for 11 days. ;)