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Laphroaig Quarter Cask

25% cask, 100% Taste

4 1989

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

24th Aug 2017

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
    89

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This is a little different from my usual reviews. There's been so much discussion of Laphroaig recently that I wanted to finally do up this review, but I've been so tired from the rest of my life that I can't do it the usual way.

I first bought a bottle of QC after watching a ralfy review. I really enjoyed it with my whisky club (and beyond). So when my wife and sister in law were in NYC and the latter wanted to get me something at DF for looking after our nephew (actually it was a pleasure...he likes Scotch), from what they described this was the best choice and I ended up with a Litre bottle.

Opened December 31 2014, this one has been open for 2.5 years, gassed after each use, and less than 1/5th full.

Because I often see folks from this distillery in videos using a mini-glencairn this is what I did, and it's a glass from them, so it must be good. I did add a few drops of water to a 15 cc pour.

On the nose, smoke, peat, lemon, a little milk chocolate. A little burnt rubber (in a good way). Paint thinner, pink rubber eraser. Water enhances the milk chocolate. I almost get a whiff of sea air. Iodine dressing (before it is applied to the wound).

On the palate, medicinal, ash, sour citrus with some pith. It's sweet. Slightly thin mouthfeel. With water the flavours melt together, the mouthfeel is creamier.

The ash and astringency lasts long into the finish.

This is about a peated whisky, make no mistake. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Delicious!

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19 comments

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

While I'm generally anti-NAS (the shenanigans around it, not the multivintaging concept) I find it hard to be angry with Laphroaig. And they don't really hide anything about this one. No tales of saving Scottish kings, no Pole Dancer names, or references to Viking ancestry. They've been pretty open with the fact that most of this whisky is 5-10 years old, with the largest percentage being closer to 5-6 years old. And QC is pretty darn good. I always got some strong coffee notes on the finish, but my bottles of QC never lasted very long. But now that it's the same price as the 10, I can't foresee any future wherein I buy this one. My $0.05

2 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I think I need to try the 10 to see what it's all about.

I received this bottle just before the NAS issue was starting to make the rounds of the bloggers. No sense in throwing it out...

If ever I were to have a less premium "go-to" Islay whisky, I think this would be it (not having tried the 10 yet). But as you can see, even for a go to, I don't go to it so often.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan I'd never throw it out. I really like QC, I just prefer the 10. I bought quite a few bottles of QC back when it was $16-$20 cheaper than 10. And Laphroaig didn't pull a jerk move like Macallan or Diageo with the bs marketing schtick around NAS. They're pretty open about the age ranges, whereas others allude to "really old whiskies" in their NAS offerings without the honesty of distillers like Bruichladdich or Compass Box.

2 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I think I've said this before, but the relative prices for Laphroaig's standard 10 and the QC vary a lot from market to market. In some places, the QC started off cheaper, and therefore earned a reputation as "the cheaper alternative to the 10." Elsewhere, the QC stared off more expensive, and therefore earned a reputation as "an upgrade over the 10." This is a perfect example of how sellers' prices subtly influence our thinking. Then as the prices converge or reverse over time, buyers' reactions are predictable: I'm not buying that QC anymore—it's more expensive than the 10 now!

(@OdysseusUnbound, I'm not saying this phenomenon affects your judgment. It sounds like you've done your homework and really know your own preferences. But at the macro level, I think it really holds a lot of sway.)

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt No worries. I agree with what you're saying. I had tried the 10 long before the QC. When I first tried the QC, it was at a friend's place and I had no idea where it stood, price-wise, compared to the 10. I instantly liked the QC, but prefered the 10. I later bought QC because of its lower price point. It's still a really good whisky, and I like that Laphroaig doesn't try to hide the youth of the whisky. Now if we could only get Laphroaig to release the 10 CS in Canada, or at least make the OB 46-48% ABV...

2 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@OdysseusUnbound , that latter—the standard 10 at 46%—is really what the world needs. The low ABV of the standard Laphroaig 10 is what makes me never consider buying it.

Meanwhile, the 46% Ardbeg 10 is stock-uppable.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

Personaly, I prefer the QC over the 10. I find the last one to play too much the vanilla card in recent years. I have to admit that I prefer when Laphroaig is on the dirtier side: when you're from the dock, don't pretend you're from the Marina. For those who loves classical pianists, I would make this comparison: the QC is like Cziffra in the ´50 while the 10 is like Cziffra from the ´70.

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Who else loves it when @Robert99 swoops in and blows us away with some sophistimicated esoteric classical pianist analogies that the likes of me have no hope of following?

I do.

2 years ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt

I find value in most of the posts of @Robert99

Realism, philosophy with a hint of je ne sais quois...

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

Taco commented

I haven't had the QC in a few years, as it's about $10 more than the 10 and $15 less than the 10CS. I'd rather pay for the CS if I have the cash, and buy the 10 if I don't. I also looove the 18, so I'd pick it up when flush with cash. Or grab a 2015 Cairdeas if I'm lucky enough to find one. The Triple Wood I avoid as I think it's too woody. But overall, any Laphroaig, just like Lagavulin, floats my boat.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

The QC was really excellent back when it first came out. It's lost quite a bit of its initial charm but it's still a very decent dram. The 48% is great, but I think I still prefer the 43% 10 which is very consistent and pretty much defines the Laphroaig profile.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote OK, OK, I'll try to taste the 10 somewhere

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan Just buy a bottle, you can't go wrong.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote I have to be careful. I set a goal to have as many or fewer bottles at the end of the year as I had at the beginning. Also, I'm looking at getting some Lot 40 CS this fall. And there's the holiday trip to Calgary to consider (where I might be able to get it cheaper...).

2 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan Oh Yeah, definitely save yourself for Calgary.

2 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

If only bars stocked Laphroaig 10.

2 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt I'm sure they do but I don't generally go to bars, and when I am in an establishment that serves whisky I don't know what they've done with the bottle or how old or empty it is.

I was burned once at a reputable establishment when I ordered an A'Bunadh batch 28 and what I got certainly was not A'Bunadh.

2 years ago 0

@Frost
Frost commented

When it comes to NAS, this whisky is "OKAY" in my book ! [well, more than okay]

@Nozinan you mention "Opened December 31 2014, this one has been open for 2.5 years, gassed after each use, and less than 1/5th full.", I'm curious if you've ever tried someone else bottle open for a similar duration and without gas. If so, how does the peat stand up in comparison?

Possibly something to try at the next whisky summit?

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I have yet to find someone else with a bottle open that long...

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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