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I decided to write this review for the sake of a discussion we had earlier this week about the Quarter Cask. Has the quality declined ever since the revamped packaging has been introduced?
That being said, I like the new sleek design better than the old one (something I can't say about the 10yo, the simplified illustration makes it look cheap).
Nose: A predominant salty nose, with hints of honey, brine and fresh oak from the cask. A whiff of peppermint, pine resin and vanilla sticks. With underlying smoky notes of medicinal peat. This is unmistakably the trademark nose of a good Laphroaig. (note to self where do other reviews keep getting their fruity notes from?)
Mouth: Full bodied: Toffee with iodine, and peat. But it's fairly short, not much I can actually write here: there is little to no time to explore the second act, the curtains are lifted only for a quick glimpse before the grand finale rushes the stage.
Finale: A fists hits you right in the face: salty peaty waves come rolling in.Thick layers of smoke with thyme and vanilla. A long and lingering finish.
Note: some whiskies blossom with a dash of water, this one doesn't. By adding water to the quarter cask it will feel like you broke this young stallion's spirit. The bottled product is exactly the way it should be.
Conclusion: It does feel like it lost some of its steam over the years, the balance seem to have been lost and it feels like the finish is missing some of its layers. But overall still a great whisky, many distilleries can only dream about producing such a class-act. This is another distiller who knows how to capture the essence of the terroir in his malt. I offered a glass to my father, a whisky novice and he immediately made the connection with Lagavulin.