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Being my first whisky review, it's taken a lot of guts to drag myself out of the "casual" ditch to finally submit my notes on a dram. I am relatively new to the world of single malts (only about five months of novice nosing and tasting under my belt), and yet voicing my opinion about this astounding whisky was a hard call to ignore. The following notes have been directly copied from my own, and reflect my personal impressions of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask single malt whisky. I have divided the notes into two sections - with and without water. Being bottled at 48%, I felt adding water was necessary for a full tasting experience.
Nose (without water): Orange, wood finish, smoke, peat, salt, sea water, hint of vanilla, spiced apples, lemongrass
First nose of this dram reveals quite a lot. I've never experienced such a complex first impression when taking my initial whiff.
Taste (without water): Immediate woody flavour, cinnamon sticks, potpourri, salt, peat, peppery, spry
Holding the whisky on the tongue reveals such intricate character. An amazing dram for after work or on the weekend when one's taste-buds are clean and prepared!
Nose (with water): As mentioned above, sweeter, slight toffee hints, pine, christmas tree, fresh green wood, forest after first snow-fall, mint
Many more defined aromas at this point. Such complexity. What an amazing experience.
Taste (with water): fresh green wood, cinnamon, light citrus, touch of light syrup, smooth arrival, beautiful finish (long and flavourful), fresh polish, seawater, ocean breeze, young grasses
This is hands down my favorite Islay. The Ardbeg 10 left me expecting more (haven't tried the Uigeadail quite yet!), and of all the more notable peated whiskies I'd say this is certainly the most enjoyable. Calm, yet complex. Active, yet subtle. Clean and intricate. If you're reading this review and wondering whether or not you should pick up a bottle, turn around right and head out to grab one. Personally, I think I'll have to buy another!