Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Smoked kippers with apple sauce

0 786

tReview by @thewhiskydoctor

7th Sep 2014

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    86

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

­I had heard good things about this bottling, which is apparently around 8 years old to keep in the youthful phenolic peatiness while using smaller quarter casks to increase wood interaction and give more complexity. Let's see...

Nose – Phenolic, smoky, bonfire smoke and ash, brine, salty and mineralic, smoked kippers, lots of TCP, hint of leather, oak charcoal, later sweet and creamy with vanilla, sharp citrus lemon, green apple, some raisins and a hint of pineapple and coconut.

Palate – Initially sharp, sour, fruity arrival on the tip of the tongue, lemon juice, crisp green apples, apple sauce, sultanas and caramelised brown sugar. Then develops into intense mid-palate peat, dry and phenolic, lots of minerals, TCP, very salty, smoked kippers, and later drying pepper, vanilla and cinnamon. A fresh and drying mouth-feel. ­ Finish – Drying wood smoke and ashes, cinnamon spice, a touch of liquorice root, more dry peat and pepper builds in the centre of tongue, with a possible hint of walnuts and a long bitter oaky finish.

The peat in the Laphroaig is certainly more ashy and medicinal than some of the Islay malts, even astringent, which I have also noticed in the 10 year old I have tried. Comparatively this has a lot more contrasting sweet and sour fruits to complement the peat, which along with the extra strength and the unchillfiltered-ness improves it significantly in my opinion. A very enjoyable dram, if possibly over hyped.

Related Laphroaig reviews

7 comments

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium commented

Not overhyped, but probably a decrease in quality over the years. In my opinion the early Quarter Cask was superior in many ways to the 10yo, now I'm sticking with the 10yo.

5 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

How has the QC's quality decreased? How is the experience different and what do we think caused that?

It's pretty much young Laphroaig partially aged in small barrels at a healthy 48%. Has it gotten younger? If not, what's the change?

5 years ago 0

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium commented

As far as we know there is no standard recipe for the quarter cask. Generally excepted, it is a 5yo vatting of bourbon casks (Maker's Mark) that than undergoes another year of maturation in a quarter cask to speed up maturation. It would be that there is a fixed recipe for these bottlings that they stick too, more likely there is a lot more variation and the blender decides if it is ready, if necessary adding younger or older casks into the mix.

If there is, as I claimed a decrease in quality (need to crack open more bottles to make a definitive decision here) than I'm firmly against the argument that this is solely caused by using younger whiskies. It could also be attributed to a decrease in quality of the casks, a slight change in the ingredients, production methods, or equipment; Maybe a lot can be attributed to the usage of other warehouse facilities.

Maybe a change in palate could be a deliberate choice by the master distiller of Laproaig to appeal to a different kind of audience, as they recently did with the Laphroaig Select.

My main remarks in a review on this very site a few months ago was that the Quarter Cask seemed to have fallen a bit flat, no noticeable changes to the palate, but overall less lively. Something fellow whisky reviewers confirmed to me. Maybe we've all gone a bit mad and we just need to get off our high horses, or there maybe is something wrong with the Quarter Cask

5 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

Nice comments. Thanks.

I've only had one bottle of the QC (in 2012) so I have no perception of any potential changes. I've been thinking of getting a second bottle one of these days as a possible divergence from my usual 10 CS. I'd hate to get one and find that it's "flatter."

5 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

I wonder if they're using quarter casks over and over again? Not that they'd never get any new QCs, but if those little guys are just getting used for finishing, I suppose they get a few uses out of each one.

Or do they send the QCs over to Ardmore after they've used them up? :)

5 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

I also am curious about the change in the QC of late. A few months ago I was at a store and bought a bottle with the new packaging and the last bottle they had of the old packaging. I also have a sample saved from a bottle a few years back (2010-ish).

I have opened the new look version QC . . . and I did enjoy the standard 10yo more at only 43% (also with the new look). But it could just be me.

I am curious to hear from other people

5 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in