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Laphroaig Quarter Cask vs. Cask Strength

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@goldfilm
goldfilm started a discussion

I keep on finding articles that compare them and I keep understanding less and less. Which of these two Laphroaig is peatier, sweeter, smoother, stronger, harsher, etc?

11 years ago

20 replies

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee replied

Based on comments in your other thread, I'd suggest going with the Quarter Cask -- if, as you say, you like 'em peaty but smooth.

The Cask Strength is a true Peat Monster and definitely not kid stuff. It's a great whisky, but you have to like peat that slaps you in the face. The Quarter Cask has plenty of peat, but it also has a nice balance of other flavors. Definitely the sweeter, smoother one.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

Rigmorole replied

Last night I had a glass of Laphroaig 10 and Talisker 10. The Laphroaig won. There was a cloying tequila like undertone in the Talisker that reminded me of Longrow CV but Longrow does it much better.

I love the Talisker 18 a great deal but the 10 just never does it for me. Talisker needs more time in the cask than Laphroaig, if you ask me.

I've tasted the Laphroaig 18 but I must say I prefer the Talisker 18 over that. As for the QC, I like that one even more than the Laphroaig 10. The folks at Laphroaig have made "young" an art form. Truly amazing. Never tasted the cask strength. this discussion has me curious now, but I suspect that I would still like the QC better. It's hard to beat, especially for the money. Like WhiskyBee says, the balance is extraordinary. Plus, I'm not a masochist when it comes to peat. Stronger is not always better.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

Rigmorole replied

Wish I could have tasted the Laphroaig 15. That seems to have been a real magic carpet ride from what I've read online.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot replied

Pro´s QC: cheaper, smoother, deeper, woodier, available

Pro´s CS: BOOM!!! I think there isnt much around topping the OMFG experience of this one

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

@MaltyMike
MaltyMike replied

@PeatyZealot nicely put! I have tried the QC and think its fantastic. I am dying to try the cask strength!

11 years ago 0

@goldfilm
goldfilm replied

If peat tolerance is at the limit with HP12 and Talisker, and I can't take the Laphroaig 10 regular, could I take and enjoy the Laphroaig QC? They sell it at 51 for a liter at the duty free.

11 years ago 0

Jonathan replied

@goldfilm I think so.. Go for the QC! That said, these are two whiskies that I like to have around because they are significantly different. The QC is less intense, smoother and sweeter than the CS. The CS, as PeatyZealot wrote, is BOOM! It's probably the better whisky, but it's also one that lasts for a much longer time in my cabinet. I need to be in the right mood to fully appreciate the CS and then usually end up futzing around with different amounts of water. The QC, on the other hand, tastes great right out of the bottle. (I should add that the latest batch of CS--004--is sweeter than the previous one. It's also very very good stuff, but if the regular 10 is over your peat threshold, the CS is the 10 cranked up to 11.) .

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

Jonathan replied

@rigmorole "Wish I could have tasted the Laphroaig 15. That seems to have been a real magic carpet ride from what I've read online."

I cannot for the life of me figure out why someone gave a thumbs down to this comment. Why not just reply in words to explain whatever the problem is.

Anyway, I have also heard that the 15 was great and wish that I could try it.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@cowfish
cowfish replied

The 15 year old wasn't, from what I've heard, particularly 'Laphroaigy'. At the time it was slated for being too soft and not medicinal enough, but has, since it's discontinuation, become a bit of a cult classic. There are still bottles out there, although they are getting a bit pricy now...

11 years ago 0

@pirgo
pirgo replied

Laphroaig 10YO Cask Strength is in my opinion everything Laphroaig stands for so I don't even think it's a worthy comparison. Even if you like smoother whiskies, you have to taste the CS, it is just phenomenal. But if your peat tolerance is HP12, I think Laphroaig is not a distillery for you. If you want Islay but don't like peat blasts try Bruichladdich or Bunnahabhain...

11 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

@goldfilm if Talisker and Highland Park are at the edge of your peat tolerance . . . the only Laphroaig you might enjoy is the 15yo. However, you just won't enjoy the price.

Here is my take on Laphroaig (one of my favorite distilleries by the way) by way of analogy to a guitar amp . . . if that were possible.

The 10yo at 43% is the classic phenolic, medicinal, wet earthy moss, peat storm. The peat knob is set at 8 The wet earth moss is set at 5 (can sometimes taste almost bitter) The sweet vanilla know is set at 0

The Quarter Cask – love this idea. First everything is bumped up because of the jump to 48% ABV. The master volume just went up The peat knob is now up to 9 The sweet vanilla knob is turned up 9 The wet earth moss is still sitting at 5

So what happens? I think the sweet vanilla really compliments and balances the peat nicely. Is it less peaty then the 10yo? By no means! It is an altogether younger whisky around 7 years old, and even more smoky and peaty then the 10yo. BUT the sweetness brings a balance and relief to the intense phenolic notes and bitter peat/earth taste that the 10 can often have.

Now the 10yo Cask Strength Basically the 10yo will all the knobs turned to 11 It is the biggest peat of them all (I think it tastes more peaty then Octomore) However, the sweet vanilla is there also (but not as strong as in the QC) It is easily one of my favorite bottles out there.

But you have to like peat and intense Islay malts.

I give the edge to the 10yo CS because of the higher ABV, stronger peat, and slightly less sweetness then the Quarter Cask.

That is my 2 cents Curious to hear from those of you who agree or disagree with my assessment

Nock

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@olivier
olivier replied

@cowfish Yes the 15 might be remembered more fondly than it should. Last week we had a tasting of the 15, 18 and QC and the 15, at only 43%, really felt tame (not bad at all, but, tame). The days when 43% would be called bold are over ;-)

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot replied

I heard the peat/smoke level of the 18 is reduced by the time in the cask, maybe that is the best way to start your Laphroaig journey. The peatlevel in HP12 is almost nothing compared to the Laphroaig 10, QC or the CS. Have you tried Caol Ila 12? a bit less peat and some additional 'green' flavors as well. Good luck!

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@goldfilm
goldfilm replied

@Nock This was a masterclass of whisky, music and criticism. Loved it!

11 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

Kudos! Great to hear from you! Got a "plus one" now ; ) @Jonathan

11 years ago 0

@Nolinske
Nolinske replied

@Nock you put it perfectly nock I loved your analogy!

11 years ago 0

@goldfilm
goldfilm replied

@PeatyZealot A friend told me Caol Ila is strong! I didn't like Ardbeg and Lagavulin, but that was before I started drinking Talisker and HP12... probably now I'm more peat-tolerant...

11 years ago 0

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot replied

@goldfilm Maybe he tasted the cask strength? It is quite a rush! But the Caol Ila 12 at 43% with a few drops of water and a few minutes... So nice:) Don't worry! The first time I drank Laphroaig I looked like a 2 year old kid that just bit in a lemon and I could'nt understand why anybody would prefer the taste of Iodine, smoked fish and seasalt over honey, vanilla and/or red fruit in a whisky. Have you thought about Bunnahabhain and Springbank?

11 years ago 0

Jonathan replied

@goldfilm I just wanted to add that I found Caol Ila 12 to be much more approachable than either of the Laphroaigs when I was first getting into peated whisky. It's smokey in a floral way and is surprisingly light for a whisky that sources its malt from the same place (Port Ellen )as Lagavulin.

This link is a little outdated --no Kilchoman--but it contains the specs regarding the peating levels of other Islay whiskies. distillers.tastylime.net/library/…

11 years ago 0

@goldfilm
goldfilm replied

@Jonathan loved this table! But... ehem... how do I find out the peating level?

@PeatyZealot the Caol Ila 12 and the Bunnahabhain will be in my "to taste" list. Thanks!

11 years ago 0

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