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Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Laphroaig with a soft edge

0 686

@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

8th Jan 2015

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Overall
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Laphroaig distillery (the name means "the beautiful hollow by the broad bay") was established in 1815, by Alex and Donald Johnston. It was sold to Long John International in the 1960ies and subsequently became part of Allied Domecq. Today the distillery is owned by Beam Suntory, the American subsidiary of Japan's Suntory Holdings. Laphroaig Quarter Cask was first released in 2004. It is matured in two types of American oak casks, first in standard ex-bourbon barrels before then being transferred to quarter casks that ensure increased contact with the oak and are said to create the soft edge that Quarter Cask is so well known for.

The nose is phenolic and sweetly smoky at the start, then vanilla and banana flavours appear, followed by notes of apple. Towards the end the smoke gains in intensity and becomes quite sooty.

The palate is medium-bodied and surprisingly creamy. There is some vanilla at first, then more and more smoke appears, coming in waves over the tongue. After that I detected sweet wood spice and hints of coconut.

The finish is long and warming. The vanilla flavours are back, together with a touch of chocolate.

This Laphroaig expression has been a part of my whisky cabinet for a number of years now. Although I usually prefer the punchier, 'slap-in-your-face' bottlings, Quarter Cask has become a favourite due to the way it got its harsh corners knocked off. Its mellow and soft nature goes very well together with the smoky and sooty elements, and it is overall a superbly balanced single malt. Good stuff from Laphroaig, particularly on a cold and rainy afternoon.

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6 comments

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Pierre_W It is funny that, for me, the Quarter Cask is the in your face Laphroaig. I never had the 10 CS but the regular 10 has too much vanilla that takes the edge off. I found the peat in the QC to be meaty and vulgar in a good way!

4 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I don't find the QC harsh in any way. Both bottles I've tasted have been excellent. Lots of pest, sweetness, great nose...

4 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Nozinan For me the QC is not harsh but it is vulgar in almost a carnal and fleshy way. Yes, you guest right, I love it!

4 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Interesting observation, @Robert99. Indeed when I mentioned the 'slap-in-your-face bottlings' I was mainly thinking of the 10yo CS that I find really aggressive and imposing (I love it!). So, compared with the 10yo CS the QC is rather refined. However I can absolutely relate to you describing it as 'meaty'. Either way, the QC is a brillant whisky.

4 years ago 0

@Benancio
Benancio commented

@Pierre_W, I have one of the early bottles left and I loved the stuff. I bought a bottle last year and it is saltier than I remember, in a good way. Have you see any change in it over the years and do you detect the salt flavor?

4 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Hi @Benancio, I had my very first Quarter Cask in 2011, way after its initial release, and as that was one of my very first single malt whiskies I did not put together detailed tasting notes. My impression is thar the 2011 version was a bit rougher than what I tasted in 2014, but that's about it. Salt may have been around but did not play a major role in my opinion.

4 years ago 0

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