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Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Average score from 71 reviews and 367 ratings 89

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Product details

  • Brand: Laphroaig
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 48.0%

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Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Laphroaig Quarter Cask has been a staple of my whisky cabinet for the last 4 or 5 years. I'm surprised I haven't reviewed it yet. Laphroaig's John Campbell explains that usage of the quarter cask (125 litres, a quarter of the size of a sherry cask) dates back to the 19th century. The smaller casks were easier for two men to load onto a pack horse and transport to wherever it needed to go. While Laphroaig Quarter Cask is a no age statement whisky, Campbell says the vattings of Quarter Cask are made up of 5 to 11 year old whiskies matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks which are then re-casked into first-fill ex-bourbon quarter casks for 7 to 12 months. While us whisky geeks would love to see the exact breakdown of the whiskies included in each batch, the information Campbell shares is better than what we get from most distilleries regarding NAS whisky. I'll spare you all another rant about honesty and transparency. Here are my tasting notes:

Tasting Notes

Neat from a Glencairn

  • Nose: smoke, iodine, a bit mossy, damp oak, rich dark toffee, vanilla, espresso
  • Palate: rich texture, medicinal, ashy, toasted oak, cinnamon and black pepper, floral vanilla, a slight hint of pears
  • Finish: long yet drying, warming, tobacco ash, espresso, dark chocolate, a bit tarry near the end, lovely. Quarter Cask strikes an excellent balance between sweet and peat flavours. Its flavours are a bit on the darker side of the spectrum, so if you like bright, citrusy-type flavours, this isn't the droid you're looking for.
  • Rating: 91/100

With Water from a Glencairn

  • Nose: iodine-forward, lots of brine, smoke pushed back a bit, vanilla, toffee, pears
  • Palate: much fruitier on arrival, then toffee, smoke, ash, black pepper, slightly waxy, more pears
  • Finish: long yet drying, salty, warming, vanilla, toffee, oak, some ash lingering but not as dark with water added. It's not necessarily better or worse with water, rather it's a different experience.
  • Rating: 90/100

This whisky has been a consistent favourite of mine for a long time. And consistent is the operative word. I've had some bottles that are a bit smokier than others, or a bottles where the dark chocolate notes are more prominent, but I've never had a bad bottle. The only potential downside is that it's way too easy to drink and the bottles tend to, ahem evaporate, a little too quickly. Sadly, Laphroaig Quarter Cask has been creeping up in price here in Ontario consistently as well. I believe the first bottle of QC I bought cost me about $60, and that was about 5 years ago. It now runs $85-$90. Not exactly a bargain, but not the worst value for money when you consider Quarter Cask is bottled at 48% abv.

  • Would I accept a glass if someone offered me one? Yes
  • Would I order this in a bar or pub? Without hesitation
  • Would I buy another bottle? I'm surprised I haven't done so already.

@casualtorture Well that's a no-brainer, although I'd probably stock up on both as I have poor impulse control.

@OdysseusUnbound - Sure I've said this before, but this often goes for sub £30 in the UK and has to be the best value peated whisky out there at that price.


The Laffie Quarter Cask first matured on bourbon barrels before being re-racked in smaller casks, that quicken the maturation. It is a release that can be found all the time, but I have noticed some batch variation – no surprise there. I first tried it in 2011 and lastly in 2014. High time to revisit it.

On the nose, this is textbook Laphroaig: peat, salt, iodine upholstered with sweet notes from butter, banana, some tea and the skin of coconut. The difference is clearly the wood, that you can actually smell here, without the whisky becoming oaky. But it certainly seems younger than earlier batches, I can even smell the barley. Having said that, it is again a lovely nose.

It is creamy, mouth coating and surprisingly sweet. Vanilla, pear drops and some citrus precede ashes and peat and some salty sea weeds. Lots of wood, now, both oak and woodsmoke. Charchoal! This works wonders.

The finish can easily be called long, with the emphasis on smoke and sweetness.

I do feel the earlier batches were a tad better, but this Laffie QC is still one helluva winter whisky.

Thanks for the review. I can confirm the rather marked difference in the QC from batch to batch. The last QC I had was in a tiny cocktail lounge and I didn’t find it very complex; its youth was apparent. Not much of that Laphroaig pear/vanilla note under the smoke. It was just barley sweetness. Not bad; I’d probably have rated it close to what you have here. But when I first tried this whisky, I feel (like you’ve indicated) that it was better, or perhaps had more mature stock in it than what’s in the bottle now.

Hence the challenge consumers face with NAS rears its head again: there is almost no reliable way to gauge consistency with NAS expressions. Not that age stated expressions are always perfect or consistent, but the age statement gives us something.


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.


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

@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...).


So, here's an update on the same bottle of Laphroaig CQ that at first made a positive impression on me, but then slipped into utter mediocrity. So much so that I just couldn't help writing a second, negative review of this malt. However, having given it time in the bottle, I must make it up to this whisky by eating some of my words.

Being too hasty in my conclusions, I was wrong about this scotch. I don't know how, but with time this whisky completely changed for the better both on the nose and on the palate. It reestablished its lovely complexity as if nothing had happened, revealing more subtle nuances. So here's my final thoughts:

NOSE: peat, herbal, a hint of parsley along with sweet notes of honey with lovely warm spices ( cinnamon and cardamom). Water tones down the peatiness a lot, accentuating the fruity aspect of this whisky. With time you can also get hints of incense, eucalyptus, leather, menthol, tar soap, pine needles, cardboard and even a touch of seaberry oil.

TASTE: wonderfully peppery, sweet, rich with a hint of salt, wonderful honey notes which carry burned wood flavors along with some peat and smoked fish. I would recommend adding little water to this one, since water seems to bring out even more harsh black pepper on the palate.

FINISH: mineral, iodine, cigar tobacco, beef steak, and pound cake, funnily enough.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I learned that with whisky you can never rush it, for it may change a lot even in a matter of days. So from now on, I'm going to be more patient with my whisky and not jump to hasty conclusions. This IS a great whisky, after all.

Like you found, I wait at least a month after a bottle is open to make any comments. Years ago I had a bottle of Glenfarclas 105 (which I kinda liked, but only to about 82) that had sat about 1/3 full for about nine months in the back of my cabinet. When I found it, I was worried it would have gone bad. I immediately poured a dram and was totally blown away how wonderful it was, nose, palate and finish. With single malt scotch patience is a virtue that usually pays dividends.

@Taco I'm totally with you there. It sure does. However, I don't think the same principle applies to peated malts. Especially if you've got little whisky left in a bottle for a long time. That really can put out all the peat and smoke and fire. The benefit of that, however, is that you may appreciate your own unpeated versions of initially peated malts. At least that's a nice story to stick to once your peated whiskies have been strongly oxidized:))


I've reviewed this whisky a few days ago after having a few drams and I gave it a pretty decent mark for what it was. But I have to say that as time goes by this whisky becomes flatter and flatter. After a week of tasting it, it's become very plain. Zero to none complexity on the nose and it leaves you with a very cardboard-like cotton mouth oaky aftertaste. I might have purchased a bad bottle of this allegedly "good stuff", who knows.

Some keep saying that is an excellent value for the money. I don't think so. I would say if you're after a really good quality peat moment - buy a few bucks more and get yourself the good ole Ardbeg 10. It will sure as hell not disappoint you.

That is a 15 point drop in a matter of days. Something must be very wrong with either that bottle or your taste buds @Georgy. Good to have a second review, but was it that much better earlier? Or that much worse a few days later? The QC scores consistently in the high 80s. A score of 72 is contrary to almost all other opinion. I suggest you dump this one down the sink and try another bottle sometime. I do agree,though; when in doubt, Ardbeg 10 is probably the best all around bang for buck peated whisky there is.


It's quite possible that you have an "off" bottle. I have had 2 bottles and both were excellent, even over a year after opening (though I do use private preserve).

It's good to see updates but this is the first time I can recall seeing a second review of the same bottle. Did you know that you can edit the score on your original review?



NOSE: a lovely combination of mazut with sweet caramel notes. Slightly herbal as well (think parsley). Surprisingly, there's some warm spices which I usually pick out in sherried whiskies: cinnamon and cardamom with cinnamon really dominating here. With some water it mellows out a lot and its peaty side diminishes dramatically. So much so that you can hardly smell it. The vanishing of peat gives way to very ripe fruity notes with a touch of leather and a tiny bit of menthol.

TASTE: a wonderfully spicy honey arrival with dry oak and some saltiness as well. Hints of nuts. With water it becomes much more peppery. Yet, for a 48% alcohol whisky, it's very smooth. As it approaches the finish it becomes a bit cardboardy.

FINISH: mineral, iodine, ash, medicinal.

The empty glass smells a bit like cola with those lovely warm Indian spices.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: a very interesting whisky which, coming from Islay, really underdelivers on the peat component. It is, nonetheless, tasty in its own unique way. However, if you're looking for a big peat explosion, it's definitely not here.

It's come down a bit from its low 90s scores in its early days, but still an excellent bang-for-the-buck dram. I still prefer it to the regular 10 and I would score it right around where you did. Cheers.

Georgy, if your goal was to prod someone into Googling "What is seaberry oil?" you succeeded!

The only thing I have to add about the QC is that I plan to make it the monthly bottle for my whisky club pretty soon, and set it against the 10 CS #6, 10 CS #7, and 2016 Cairdeas.


This was an overproof so I put a little water in it. It was on sale ($4 off) up here in Northwestern Ontario so I got the bottle for $65.95 and the 48 percentage seemed like a selling point over the regular 40. I love overproofs and I was willing to try this out specifically because it is supposed to be 'peaty'.

Nose: Very musky and woody, it reminds me of being in an older-growth forest where the trees are very tall and there's no underbrush, just moss and low-lying leafy plants, where the light is dimmer and there's much space to wander.

It smells like the first cuts into a tree when I'm chopping down a balsam or spruce.

After tasting I note that the whisky is still imbued within my olfactory for a long period of time, I'm delighted that it lingers after a sip so the experience is everlasting. I think this is what the experts might call 'peaty'.

Taste: Smooth, lingering connection to nature; it breathes in the way that a tall forest negates strong winds leaving you immersed in the wafting, slow and stiff air under the canopy where everything is still and calm.

When I licked a bead off the neck after pouring the first thing I tasted was honey.

Throat: This is one of the most soothingly smooth whiskies I've ever tasted, and despite being so easy to drink it's also incredibly rich and alive with a wholly unique flavor and a long-lasting aftertaste that keeps you in that mysterious forest. After a few drinks it starts feeling as if it goes down thick like syrup.

@Ol_Jas, yeah I've always thought that "overproof" is a word that alcohol-sensitive people who think that 40% ABV is a lot of alcohol content like to use to impress other people who are also not used to drinking, or even thinking about, anything over 40% ABV. I've seen such people wince a little when they say "overproof" and look to see a look of menace and horror in the faces of those to whom they mention the word, apparently expecting a big reaction. The thought of anything over 40% ABV seems like a very big deal to many spirits beginners, as though there were something divinely ordained about diluting the spirit down to 40% ABV and selling it at that concentration.

I think that such people are usually not used to sipping spirits for their flavours. Even if I ever did shots, which I do not, I would not want to do a shot of 60% ABV spirit. For that purpose 40% ABV would make a lot more sense.

I have heard there is batch variation, but I like this expression as well. I have a bottle that was bought in a US Duty free (1L so it will last me a while).

My first bottle I found it became smoother and a little sweeter a long time after the bottle was opened. Essentially, I think this is one that stays good from the first to the last dram.


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.

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.

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.


NAS, Islay, 48% ABV

Nose: Laphroaigian medicinal peat, smoke and salt, but also rather musty with old books, leather, cellar and damp wood. Lots of green notes, which complement the mustiness: pine, herbal, menthol. Additionally the whisky can become quite sweet and nutty. Aside from a slight coconut note, the sweetness lacks any fruit, being more vanilla and caramel heavy, turning towards licorice and coffee.

Palate: Full and mouth coating. Oak heavy and slightly dry. Caramel, toffee, bit spicy. As the finish approaches it becomes more tarry and ashy with tobacco and onions.

Finish: Lasting finish. Solid peat, medicinal, slight coconut that goes along with chocolate and more herbal notes.

Very solid dram, would always pick this over the 10 Year old and most Islay malts. Highly recommended.


It has already been a few years since I last tasted the Laffie Quarter Cask, but thanks to one of my whisky buddies, I was able to secure a sample of the newest release. As the name suggest, the whisky was finished in smaller casks, ensuring more contact between the spirit and the wood which results in a faster maturation and more character.

The nose is creamy and sweet while at the same time salty and smoky, as Laffie shoud be. Vanilla, butter cake, banana peels and coconut. Chamomile tea? The balans between the sweetness and the salt are almost perfect.

The arrival is powerful and spicy, wonderfully smoky – although less so than anticipated after the nose. Cloves, mint and cinnamon. Hey appears as does some wood – although again less than expected. Sea weed and citrus. Some charcoal. Hints of pear syrup. Fairly sweet, but mostly smoky towards the end. It builds up.

The finish is long, spicy and shows a fine balance between the smoke and the sweetness. Oak at the death.

Recommended, especially at that price. Thanks, Pat!


As part of holiday tradition, its time to break open a new single malt! This time around its Laphroaig QC.

Tasted neat at 48% after 5mins of settling down.

Nose - Immediately we get a big blast of fresh peat dominated with loads of wood (which is to be expected from the QC). This tastes so fresh. A bit of antiseptic popping out at times, but nothing like Talisker 10yo. The wood is really coming out here in the nose. Eventually we start getting herbal notes reminiscent of oregano, basil and even black pepper. Letting it open up and settle some more yields subtle sweetness and olive oil. This is a very herbal nose but if you're patient without rushing it you'll end up getting hints of bittersweet dark chocolate with a tease of vanilla. A really complex nose on this, lots going on and lots to enjoy for such a young whisky.

Palate - Rich, peaty, slightly oily with dry sweet/massive spice and pepper with a smokey kick. I cannot stress the spice on this, its huge on the arrival. Laga 16 fails in comparison to this. The peat here is heavy but very rewarding as it drags on and on with the smoke entering after the initial taste starts fading off. This is rich with a smooth spicy character.

Finish - Quite long. The smoke stays around for awhile. The herbal notes that were present in the nose are found throughout. With a dash of water we get a touch more smoke in the nose that was once dominated by peat mostly.

Conclusion: Great, impressive stuff. Miles above Lagavulin 16. Don't waste your money on the Laga, get the QC instead. This is a very well rounded, smooth yet spicy peaty gem. If you love the peat, then you and the Quarter Cask must meet!


­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.

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

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


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.


Pale orange. Cough syrup and smoke stack and brown sugar on the nose. Taste is pretty intense. It jumps out with chalky dry enamel stripping booze with a lot of moss and earthy sweet finish. Tastes like the seashore.


This is from a bottle I bought and opened at the end of March in 2011. I have tasted it with notes on six occasions (92, 89, 89, 88, 89, 85). I really think Laphroaig and Ardbeg are best - for me - when they are freshly opened. Young peat monsters have the most punch and power straight out of the gate. This bottle fell off in a bad way at the end of 2 years. The first score of 92 was taken a month and a half after the bottle was opened. The second score of 89 was taken two months after that. The bottle held steady for the next two years . . . well, almost. At the end it got too bitter. Final average will be 89.

Nose: Sweet peat and vanilla on the fore with campfire smoke in the background. There is a peat bonfire happening here with smoke and oak. Sweet malt sets the primary foundation for hints of pine, mint, grass, coconut, and honey crisp apple to pop in and around smoke and peat. Not a thing bitter or off here.

Taste: Vanilla on the fore with sea salt, seaweed, caramel, toffee, and peat on the back. After two years a noticeable bitter note . . .

Finish: Huge blast of peat with almost no warning. It is just like you stepped into the path of an ocean breaker. It is a big wave with huge white caps. Tons of peat and smoke follow this huge sea spray. It is a long finish with large peat embers burning brightly all the way. There is still vanilla and charred wood . . . there might have been a hint of bitter oak . . . or maybe not. On second tasting I will leave the bitter notes to the taste alone.

Balance, Complexity: Very nice balance of peat and smoke, salt and sweet. I have to give it points for complexity on all levels. This has a ton going on with nothing really towering over anything else. The Quarter Cask does a fantastic job of balancing the huge peat and smoke of Laphroaig with sweet vanilla. However, it is aggressive and in your face while also being balanced at 48% (Just not as aggressive as the 10yo CS - which I love).

Aesthetic experience: Golden honey amber. Full bodied scotch. There are days where I LOVE Laphroaig simply because it has the Prince of Wales crest at the top of the label. Granted, I like the 10 yo and the Cask Strength labels better then this one. It almost seems a bit cheesy with the cartoon drawn ¼ size barrel next to a full sized barrel. Yes, I get it: you are trying to show people why it is called “quarter cask.” But I just don’t like the drawing. I will be interested to see the new style of this bottle. Yes this is the score that keeps this bottle from regularly going over the 90 point mark (it is only my opinion)

Conclusion: This was a created dram. It was designed to deliver a specific flavor profile. And I think it might be one of my favorite “designed” whiskies out there. What I mean is that they took young Laphroaig and put it in small Quarter Casks specifically to get more wood involvement. Then they specifically bottled it at 48% . . . and it does an amazing balancing act of power and calm; vanilla and bitter; peat and smoke at this age and ABV. And further, this bottling has been very consistent since it was released. This is a NAS ideal – consistent quality at a reasonable price.

Nock this was a very interesting review on one of my favorite drams. Have never been able to keep an open bottle longer than 2 weeks nevermind two years. Nice to hear that my "strategy" of drinking it while fresh seems to be the way to go! Thanx for your take on this one.

I never had a 10 yo CS, but I do prefer the Quarter Cask to the regular 10 yo because of this balance with the vanilla. And I think the nose his more in lign with the palate which make the balance far better.


I've spotted a few varied reviews on QC and thought I would throw my hat in the ring as well. I love this Whisky in a familial way. It's like your mothers younger brother, the cool Uncle who drives fast cars, dresses well and buys the big ice creams. It's a more mature version of the 10yo, which in family terms is a favourite cousin and I like her as well.

My current bottle is about my 4th QC and I am as impressed now as I was the first time around. It's my Saturday evening treat that makes me indifferent after a poor game of golf and analytical of a good one, a thinking dram.

My, still novice, nose gives me sweet honey and sugar, burnt caramel, peach mashed with rose petals and marzipan. The others in the room notice the smoke and seem to enjoy it despite being non Whisky drinkers.

On the front I taste and almost feel the smouldering remains of a beach fire made from driftwood, dampened by sea spray and light drizzle. I taste peaches and lemons, grapefruit and raisins. Walnuts and a peppery toffee apple.

The finish is maple syrup laced with liquorice with wafts of seaweed and there is a wonderful Smokiness that reminds me of wood fires on a cold still evening.

QC is a stunning malt and along with the 10yo has set a high Islay benchmark. For me it is a mood whisky, warm and relaxing - regardless of what I shot on the golf course.


Since I’ve been reviewing all the popular drams lately, I would be remiss to not include the ol’ QC. It’s a classic by any standard, and shame on me for taking so long to get around to it. It’s not the most balanced, the peatiest, the most complex, or the most refined whisky to be found. For me it’s a beautiful dram for one main reason; it embodies the Laphroaig style. There are a few distilleries that I like just because they’re THEM. Highland Park, Bunnahabhain, Old Pulteney, Laphroaig (and a few others) are worthy of distinction in my book. They aren’t always the best whiskies (although they often are), but their ‘house styles’ are quite characteristic and they have managed to set themselves apart from the crowd, flavour-wise. But that’s just my opinion, of course. Here are the tasting notes.

Nose: Lots of that beautifully gentle Laphroaig sweetness. There’s a cola quality within that sweetness. Salty? Yes. But not as much as you’d expect. Vanilla, malt, and something faintly banana.

Palate: Creamy arrival. Honey, ginger, crème brûlée and vanilla give this dram a cream soda-like quality. Oak, peat, damp earth, cereal, and more of that lovely sweetness. There’s a bit of pepper and spice, but this stuff is so creamy that the spice has no sting at all. Smooth as silk.

Finish: Roasted nuts, salt, oak, cream, and a bit of ash. The oak is drying and bitter, but the oaky character doesn’t consume the whisky, at least not for me. A medium-long finish with the soft honey continuing to present itself.

I’ve come to love the QC and I’ve come to love Laphroaig overall. There’s something about Laphroaig that floats my boat. In my review of the 10 I mentioned that it evolves and changes a great deal, but never stops being delicious. The same is true of the QC. Been open for about 4 months now and it’s lost some of its original kick. BUT… I can’t decide if that’s a bad thing because the softer side of this whisky is also fantastic. I can’t say I feel the same way about Ardbegs or Lagas after several months of being open.

While it’s certainly more intensely oaked and ‘ashier’ than the 10, I like it just as much. But despite the added abv, I would still argue that this walks the line between a light sipper and a peat monster, particularly after time has worked its magic. Of course, many would argue that it’s a powerful whisky above all else. But to me, Laphroaig’s beautiful silky honey note can ‘tame’ the peat in a way that no other Islay distillery can. Although it IS very peated and it markets itself as such, there’s more to this than just a blast of earth and smoke. This stuff is oaky, vanilla-y, sweet, and silky smooth. It’s a superb whisky. Now I just need to get my hands on a bottle of that beautiful cask strength 10…


Nose: Oak, dried fruit essence, and a pleasing nuttiness. The nose is quite enjoyable on this scotch.

Palate: bitter oak dominates with some hot chillis, while the background is occupied by toasted barley grains. There is also a presence of cola and cream soda lurking in the background. to me, the palate disappoints.

Finish: Medium length with more bitter oak, leathery aged cigar wrapper, dried cherries, and prunes.

How does this one compare to the Laphroaig 10, the Cask Strength 10,and the 18? Not well, I'm afraid, and I know a lot of very reputable and experienced whisky connosrs will disagree with me. However, be this as it may, I am posting my review for the record: I feel that QC is over-rated as a scotch and this fad with pass with time, which tends to even out the kinks, so to speak. To me, QC simply does not have a favorable balance due to bitter oaky domination in the mouth.

Do I even like it the QC? Honestly, no. And I seem to like it even worse than I did six months ago.

Do I like the other Laphroaig offerings? Yes, I do and I always have, especially the cask strength batches. I am quite partial to them, and I also appreciate the understated charm of the 18.

I do not always opt for youthful bombast over sophistication, even in a heavily peated Islay whisky. For example, I prefer the PC8 over the PC7. With Ardbegs, I'll take the Uigeadale over the Alligator or the Corryvreckan any eve of the week.

As for Laphroaig, the 18 is a nice dram indeed, despite the fact that, for the money, I am a "cask strength" man.

Cask strength 10 also blends quite well with Glenfarclas 12 year for a charming vatting that visiting company in one's home will often enjoy.

In Oregon, the Glenfarclas 12 is one of the best buys on the shelves these days at $41 a bottle when Highland Park 12 is up around $49 now. Is eight dollars a make or break factor? No, certainly not, and the Highland Park also vats up nicely with half one half to one quarter of Laphroaig Cask Strength. I really am partial to the CS 10 Batch 003.

I think I agree with you when it comes to the 10y vs QC. The 10y gave me more pleasure than the QC.

I have a closed bottle of the 18y, but I'm not planning on opening it soon.

What is your experience with the different batches of the CS? Is it the 10y on steroids? Is the a quality difference between batch 1, 2 or 3?

I agree. To me though,regular 10y.o. Laphroaig and QC have a similar taste profile and the malts struggle to balance out on your palate. For some odd reason with cask strength and 18 the balance is just perfect. No glaring singular flavor profile, nothing overbearing, just a good deliver with what the whisky has to offer.


This particular bottling is aged 5 years in the usual ex-bourbon barrels then moved to quarter casks for a short stay of 7 months. This younger bottling is bottled at 48% which is slightly higher than the 10 yr. I found this bottle at my favorite bar, it seemed to be a new bottle as I haven't seen it there in the last few weeks. Anyways off to the tasting!:

Nose: The usual medicinal iodine, smoked meats over a hickory fire near the beach at sunset, earthy goodness that Laphroaig likes to show in their whisky. I found notes of an oily and buttery character as well. With a little more time, sweet vanilla and caramelized sugar attempts to force its way in. Very interesting to find a sweet undertone, I like it.

Body: Relatively tongue-coating, it leaves medium legs that travel at a medium pace when the glass is swirled.

Taste: Smoke and earthy peat are the most noticeable traits, gently bitter oak, a briney character (as if by the sea) and bits of vanilla custard. Strong peppery/peppered meats follow.

Finish: A long finish containing cigar smoke, earthy peat and a large amount pepper draws this Laphroaig bottle to a close.

Overall: A great bottling but I think I like the 10 yr better. Im not sure why but its my opinion.

Thank you and yes this is a great bottling

Thanks for the review. I agree, I like the 10 better. I find the QC a little too sweet. Regardless, this is a quality whisky no doubt.


I am by no means a connoisseur, so don't expect me to know what I'm talking about, but Laphroiag Quarter Cask is a bottle of burning wood and gunpowder.

The reactions of my family when I poured them some glasses make it clear this is not a bottle for someone not used to the taste of whisk(e)y. In fact, after tasting this, my dad fetched a plastic jug of his moonshine from his garage to show us all what "real" booze should taste like. Thankfully, no one agreed his was any better, but still, I was the only one who managed to enjoy my glass of Quarter Cask.

This was the most expensive scotch I've ever had, and once it is gone I'll have to live with the realization that everything I've been drinking up until now has actually been mediocre at best. Laphroaig has ruined all other drinks for me; drink with caution.

At a recent tasting amongst friends, I thought this was one of the 'stars' of the night. My friends didn't care for it...or any of the other smokey and peaty offerings for that matter. I was the lone vanguard for smoke and peat and this one made my night. I promptly went out and added a bottle of this to my own collection upon returning home.

Your dad's plastic jug of moonshine...LOL:) I've also just recently been acquainted with this whisky, and like you I came to appreciated it rather quickly. How something can be so "earthy" and yet deliciously rich at the same time just blows my mind. Also, in the 90's in my book. Thanks for your review!


Nose: You first notice the peat-imparted leather, which manages to be deliciously inviting combined with a well-rounded sweetness (and NaCl/I2): like wakame salad, complete with sesame seeds. Further probing can bring overripe orange, turning to orange/vanilla creamsicle. Tasted from an alternate vantage...: the leather is more like toasted walnuts and their skins, and these find themselves in the salty graham crust of a Key lime pie-- with the Key lime elements of sweetness, vanilla/coconut smoothness, and a little prodding sharpness of the rind. Just before the sip, some toffee-enhanced rubber can arrive.

Palate: A lime entrance brings big viscous flavors: potpourri with bitter walnut skins, turning to smoky cedar with sweet cream, to vanilla with lime and peppery cloves, finally to liquorice with rubber and charcoal. Rich, with a good balance of sweetness and saltiness throughout.

Finish: The leather with sweet wakame returns, but the leather feels more like a cigar in the throat. In the mouth, it becomes a lingering sweet/salty/industrial sensation comprised of overtoasted walnuts with lime rind.

I expected something harsher-- saltier and more medicinal-- but was delighted at the balance of fruit/cream sweetness ("Key lime pie") and palatably tamed peat. I applaud the combination of balance and complexity, and I look forward to keeping this around especially for winter evenings. Of the other peated scotches I've reviewed so far, this compares best with the Ardbeg Alligator. But the Laphroaig has key-lime character rather than orange; it is less salty and slightly sweeter; and it is less bitter but with a bit more "diesel".

Like you I was expecting something harsher also. Lovely balance between the industrial earthy peat and creamy sweetness. Too bad winter is ending...indeed ideal for that winter evening. Thanks for the review!

Follow-up: the 1-year open bottle has worsened. Gone is the creamy sweetness, and what is left is everything solventy: leather polish, walnut oil, machine oil, and charcoal. Except for a little orange, this has become excessively industrial and even bitter.


I am currently finishing my 3rd bottle of this glorious series of Laphroaig distillate. Many before have already explained the origin and defintion behind the "quarter cask" entitlement, which is quite obvious to the journeyed whisky afficionado. On the nose we have a golden syrup tangy/sweet peat burst, which is quite well measured considering the flavour lurking behind. The nose also gives away the classic Laphroaig annotations, TCP, plasters, salt/peat and a bit of rubber. The manifestations on the nose become even clearer on the palate as syrupy vanilla led sweetness hits you with a potent peppery arrival (white pepper mainly) with a the Peat making a big (but measured) intro. It ensues on iodine, TCP, celeri, rubber again, and then the pepper and peat comes back with a bit of the initial sweetnes with it. Like the title says: A modern Classic, one of the best from Islay currently.


On the nose, there was a significant smokiness as well as the classic band-aid aroma. In spite of this powerful nose, the drink did not evoke as much of the briney seaside sense of place as one might expect. The dram was quite viscous; it coated the tongue and had the oily mouthfeel one associates with much older whiskies. In spite of the higher ABV (48%), the drink was quite smooth with little alcohol bite to it. On the palate, the earthiness really asserted itself. There was a mineral quality to the earthiness that was captivating. And the smokiness truly owned the smooth, pleasant finish. I found that a small splash of water brought a great deal of balance to the nose and palate allowing a sizable amount of complexity to emerge. I definitely preferred this one with a dash of water.

This dram is like an intricate piece of music. It’s not something to enjoy absent-mindedly. It is not innocuous background noise. Enjoyed with your full attention, this intense dram cannot possibly fail to intrigue you–even if you think you don’t care for peated whiskies.


Complex, and not for the faint of heart! I know some seasoned whisky drinkers that have turned their nose up against this one! ....all I can say: utterly exquisite. This should sit for 10 minutes or so as it will open up with time, and a little water.

Nose: blasts of smokey peat, camp fire, aged oak, iodine, and yes, there is a sweet undertone as well....just a sense that this whisky has been maturing for far longer than its true age suggests. There is a floral note as well coming through on the nose; but mostly peat! inescapable

Taste: Peat, floral notes, oak, and a slight maple syrup-like quality coming through, but the peat does not really subside at all; it settles a bit on the finish, but always there; stronger at first, but mellows on the finish.

Finish: all the flavours linger on the extra long finish, but the finish seems to get sweeter as you get nearer the end of the glass - as more time has gone by allowing it to open up more. As it states on the box, this whisky is non chill-filtered, and the addition of water may cause a little cloudiness; normal.

A great experience, a fantastic, complex whisky for those looking for something a little more composite.


Great review,absolutely one of my favorite,slainte!!!!


Having recently sat down with this along side a 10 year Laphroaig, I did a direct comparison. I am relatively new to dissecting what I taste, thus I'm not very good at pulling apart the various influences. Nonetheless, my thoughts:

Nose: Crisp sea air, a little sweeter than the 10 perhaps? Subtle hints of the smoke to come.

Body: Fairly light but muscular!

Palate: At full strength, it packs a punch the 10 year does not have. A little water brings it down. The smoke is all around, but not as one-dimensionally as the 10 year (though also not as rich and smooth). Sweet notes are mixed in with this smoke. Decent complexity that I'm still discovering.

Finish: Medium-long, that smokey flavor tapers off along with a sweet note that the sip ends on.

Honestly, for the price, taste, and considering it's a non-chill filtered whisky at 48%, it's one of the best values around in my opinion. Definitely worth having on the shelf for almost any whisky drinker.

I let it sit a couple minutes while I nosed it once I added water, not sure how long it 'should' sit before sipping again. A little water definitely did widen its horizons as well as reducing the bite.

This bottle is definitely on my soon to buy list.

Being new to 'tasting' as well, did you allow the water and whisky to marry for awhile in the glass or did you notice a difference right away?


I thought I'd give this a try after hearing good things about it's quality and wishing to see what all the peatheads get worked up about. After trying the quarter cask I can certainly say that heavily peated whiskies are not my thing. I only rate this at 70 due to it not jiving with me not because it lacks in quality. With water it is at least palatable to me. After adding water the nose becomes mildy toned down peat and brings out the briny vegetal notes. The taste with water maintains much of the peat and iodine notes but pepper becomes apparent and a smokey finish becomes discernible.


Bedlington Malt Whisky Society sampled this bottle on the 28th of November 2012. This is a very impressive dram! Not as peaty as other Laphroaigs, and a lot sweeter.

Colour: Caramel, manuka honey.

Nose: Lots of smoke and sweetness. Large amounts of salt, seaside air and seaweed. The oak is hinted at. Some fruitiness starts to creep in with a small splash of water.

Body: Full, smooth.

Palate: Lots of smoke. Salted caramel and hazelnuts. Oaky, with vanilla hints from the wood.

Finish: Cigar smoke, bonfires and lots of smoky goodness! More salty sea air, and a surprisingly dry finish. Wood sap, sweet fruit almost appley notes.

A very enjoyable, very easy to drink and very moreish whisky! Perfect accompaniment to a cigar, roaring log fire and a comfy chair.


Color: Light honeyed-gold.

Nose: Seaside campfire, smoked gouda, and PEAT. Let it breath for a few minutes and the smokiness eases up, giving way to charred oak and notes of iodine.

Body: smooth and watery, but with a kick.

Palate: Like sucking on roasted wood chips. Deep smokey flavor with a lot of salt.

Finish: Very long finish of smoke and salt. Very warm all the way down. Hint tobacco at the end, like finishing a good cigar.

This was only my second Islay malt, after the Laphroaig 10 year, and I've found this one to be much richer and more complex than the 10. I'm dying to try some others (I have a Lagavulin 16 I haven't opened yet), but this is one I've grown to love and expect to fall back on when I can't afford some of the pricier peats.

I'm also really interested in this offering from Laphroaig. Each review I've read in the past the present is giving it sky rocketing results. Most prefer it over the 10 y/o from then. The only thing stopping me from venturing down the path and aquiring this bottling is the raw power of this malt that everyone talks about.(And Islay in general)

I have yet to crack open my bottle of Talisker 10. Which is also known for its smokiness. So if I enjoy the Talisker I'll hop on-board and take the plunge with this Islay gem.

Out of curiousity, if you've tried Talisker 10, how would you say it compares in terms of smokiness and peat to Laphroaig?

I won't lie, the first time I tasted the Laphroaig 10 (a gift from a friend), I hated it and couldn't understand why anyone would enjoy Islay Scotches. All I could taste was smoke and peat. But I committed myself to finishing the bottle, and the more time I spent with it, the more it grew on me. Still a little single note for my taste though. The Quarter Cask, however, really came alive to me.

I can honestly say that passing through the Islay threshold really opens up your appreciation for every regional variety. Before, Scotches came in two varieties to me ("tastes good," "doesn't taste good"). Now I can really grapple with each bottle in a way I never could before. Sooner or later, every serious whiskey drinker must answer the call of Islay!


Here I go trying to review a gem that's been put through it's paces and come out in spades. The Quarter Cask is a stroke of Laphroigian genius!

Familiar Islay armoas creep out from my snifter glass as I try and keep pace with a barrage of sensory fireworks. A damp, musty muscovado fruitiness is the first thing that arrests your senses. And then nestled within the woody nuts lies the unmistakable smoky peat which is covered in a thick layer of honey, sausages, wood varnish and old cardboard cartons.

Don't look at me like that! You know what I mean....

The full bodied palate is succulent honeycomb and nuts with something a touch bitter to give it a layer of mysteriousness. The citrusy sugars stand up with aplomb as the peppery spices cascade in to gently caress your taste buds.

A long and dry oaky finish rounds of one of the best 30 seconds malting experiences of my malting career.

@rigmorole I really dont have the words to respond to your humbling praise. I am, by no means, a scotch master - I promise! I love to write and explore new flavors and more than that I love to share that with my fellow enthusiasts. If that has in any way contributed something meaningful to you then I consider my efforts rewarded ten-fold.

Balancing a moderate muslim life with my love for scotch is a fine line which I tread carefully. Luckily I have a supporting wife and friends who look out for me. However, my hobby is frowned upon in many close quarters which is why I take great pains to keep this aspect of my life far removed from those who I may offend. It has worked well so far.

As far as Laphroaig is concerned I have three Cask Strengths (Batches 3,4 & 5). Of the three I luckily have two bottles each of batch 4 & 5 and I was planning on reviewing those in the near future. Probably in the next few weeks. I would love to see what you think once I post my reviews.

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kind words. They truly inspired me.

Till we meet.


It appears you like the QC more than the 10 year cask strength. Any comparisons you can make? I would have to drive 35 miles into the mountains for a cask strength at a far away liquor store. Quarter cask is a few miles from my house at a neighborhood liquor store. QC is also ten dollars cheaper than the cask strength.

I'm intrigued by the cask strength. A bar near my house has it, and I've ordered it a few times. Very smooth and with a deep deep flavor. The QC seems more peppery and surfacey spicy. Only tasted a small sample once at a party, however. It is hard to find in bars.

I consider you a "scotch master." Your reviews are legendary, by the way. I'm also intrigued by the way you appear to be balancing a muslim lifestyle with fine scotch connoisseurship. I am balancing some leanings towards Christian Science with fine scotch appreciation.

CS is also an "alcohol free" religion. I don't approve of the CS church, however, but Science and Health and spiritual metaphysics has proved to be quite useful in terms of keeping my outlook positive and uplifting. At this point, the CS church seems largely to be a funds collector for the Christian Science Monitor, which is simply propaganda du jour (very little difference from any other major US national news service). It seems to be a feather in the globlists' caps, however, because it gives the impression of being a private newspaper/website, when in fact it is tightly controlled by propaganda programs and agencies of the emerging global scientific dictatorship (Aldous Huxley's term).

At any rate, thank you for the expert reviews, sir, and the wonderfully literary allusions, metaphors, similes, and analogies in your many insightful analyses of very intriguing scotches.


I think this is so much better than the 10 year old, it has a sweet taste together with the peat. It reminds me of Ardbeg 10 years in that way. Oak and peat together with at sweetness.

Good taste for the money, nice that its unchillfiltered. I held back two points because of the use of Caramel colour. Totally unessesary in a experiment such as this. I can to a point understand that theyre not changing theyr 10year old.


it is one of the strange ones. The iodine taste blows your brain out. For it's range i belive it does more than his brothers on the market. The nose is peat and a bit of flowers... Sweet?? But the taste brought me back home on winter holidays. A real real smoked meat comes out of it, folowed by the same flower sweetness and a bit of wet Leather covered by falling leaves and more wich i reallt can not describe. A great experience for the senses. Good luck to you all in descovering at least the same i have:))))


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!

Thanks a lot! It's so nice to hear from another member of the community. Pick this bottle up if you can! You won't regret it.

This is a bottling I also want to acquire for these upcoming winter months and great review by the way


Loved, loved, loved it! From the second I opened the bottle I just knew this was going to be awesome. My first Islay whisky and cant wait to try more. Nose full of peat, camp fire and rubber, imagine squealing tires and the smoke coming from them....freaking awesome. Taste was exactly that..with a faint vanilla sweetness on the backend and a finish that lasted for days. The perfect whisky to have here in San Diego in March just before paddeling out for a winter surf session to get the motor going.


The reviewed bottle has been open for 17 months and is approximately 1/2 full

It is really nice that there is a precedent and TRADITION in Scotland of using these little barrels for whisky, for had there not been, then the Scotch Whisky Association would have banned this wonderful way to improve the product by giving the whisky more contact surface with the wood of the casks used for aging. Happily Laphroaig recognised the value of more wood contact for the maturing whisky, and, looking backwards and seeing a precedent that could be pointed to, made a whisky with more benefit of the wood than is usually afforded Scottish malts. The result:

Nose: usual Laphroaig briney, peaty, smoky, medicinal nose, with the smoke component greatly lessened after a month or two of the bottle opened. Sweet. This Quarter Cask is about the sweetest 'freshly opened bottle' Laphroaig you will find. Very nice indeed

Taste: the sweetness on the nose is even more accentuated on the palate. This is delightful whisky, which is why it has legions of fans...and the delight is primarily afforded by those wonderful sugars obtained from the increased wood exposure by using those little casks. All of the standard Laphroaig 'house style' flavours are there, in a mellow and rather sweet sort of way. No doubt the Quarter Cask expression also benefits powerfully by being served up at a goodly 48% ABV concentration, so that the goodness is not lost by cutting it with a lot of water. Delicious, and a real crowd pleaser, despite being, by the standards of some, quite "young". This is mature whisky, so, therefore, not "young", no matter what the number of years of Scottish aging

Finish: long and strong, with all the parts remaining flavourful

Balance: a well put together whisky, deserving of the positive regard in which it is held

I love that this whisky comes out as a 'standard' bottling at 48% abv. Ardmore Traditional Cask is also on my wishlist to add to the 'non-standard sized cask' whisky collection in the future.

This one has consistently been excellent in a tumbler at a pub...I can't wait to try it in a proper tasting glass!!

@Victor. Agreed...100%. It's a bona fide winner.


This whisky is unapologetic and brazen, however soulfully honest.

Nose: Blue reek, coal, coal tar, iodine, earthy (leaf mulch, sweet malt. develops into a spicy aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. also detected a trace of carnation milk and a faint golden syrup note

Palate: big, butch and full bodied (steroids possibly used ;)) mouth coating and thick, rich, phenolic, wood smoke, sweet gristy malts, coal developing mid way.

Finnish: very long indeed, sweetness maintains itself with the peat and coal lingering around for a while longer.

overall: Its a gently giant, huge and grizzly but, yet still being pleasant and well mannered. Its a lot more full and intense than 10yo and my favourite Laphroaig so far.

Why I marked it 97 is the caramel e150a in there which is completely useless imo. it would cost them alot less for it not to be in there.

Buyer Beware!!!! this is not a whisky for the novice drinker, it is a challenge even for some old noses and once the cork is out there is no going back!!! (But hey at the £26.50 I paid, its cheap enough for a punt).


A cold rain is falling outside tonight so i decide to pour myself a glass of this wonderful laphroaig quater cask.Hummm,so nice,so earthy,so herbal,so good!Yes this is a great scotch indeed,but seriously if you try it you can taste all the cask expression into your glass and feel lucky to sip this great product.


We glared at each other from across a barren lamp-lit table - a tentative neophyte and a monolith of phenolic devastation, whose insidiousness lay cloaked behind a charming emerald facade.

The first encounter was an object lesson in oral brutality. My mouth filled instantly with billowing clouds of filthy coal smoke and austere minerals. Water only seemed to make Laphroaig angrier. The truth about Laphroaig is that it made me sick.

I was defeated, despite my predilection for the likes of Lagavulin and Longrow. This emasculating experience nearly resulted in permanent self-relegation to the deliciously feminine, floral, and fruity Speysiders that I know and love. Undaunted, though, and through the grinding inevitability of time and patience, I managed to unlock the intrinsic qualities of Laphroaig QC.

Ok, enough with the hyperbole.

Nose: a curious mix of industrial and coal smoke, rubber, rich peat, minerals, and saline. The faintest honey whisper emerges as well.

Palate: a rich, mouth-coating whisky. Syrupy sweet arrival that transitions immediately to spice. As the spice fades, as it does rapidly, the phenols kick in. Iodine, peat, minerals, and thick industrial smoke.

Finish: long and smokey. Once imbibed, a cloud of smoke erupts in the mouth, accompanied by the lingering spice and the vestiges of iodine. The spice and smoke linger on.

I was able to appreciate the high intrinsic quality of this whisky once I overcame my initial disdain. Despite this revelation I am still not overly fond of the flavour profile, hence the lower score. While I enjoy peated whisky, especially Lagavulin, I am not keen on the 'directness' of Laphroaig's smoke and the prominence of its medicinal profile. A great whisky, deserving of its esteemed reputation? Absolutely. Just not always my cup of tea.


I, too, recognize the inherent subjectivity of tastes, and of reviews, but I do attempt to balance it with some measure of objectivity. I may not 'love' a particular whisky, but if it is well-made, balanced, and contains some exciting elements (like Laphroaig QC) then those elements should be factored into a review. I will very likely give away the remainder of my Laphroaig, but my evaluation of it won't suffer because I happen not to like its overall profile (unless I evaluate a whisky of legitimately low quality, of course).

It is quite true that many whiskies can be quite good in their own ways, and still not be any given individual's 'cup of tea'.

Taste preferences are highly individual. For example, lots of lemon citrus flavour usually ruins any whisky for me, even if the rest of the flavours are very good. Many other people like high citrus flavour profile whiskies.


As with the 10 year old whisky I'm very impressed

This one is alot sweeter and smoother and although heavy in peat it's not quite the raw peat monster like it's 10 year old brother.

I couldn't say which one's better, this one has a honey syrup start it's less medicinal and iodine tasting and it has a long tar and oak aftertaste.

Both are a worthy edition to the cabinet, I prefer the raw deal but This one is probably more acessible to the palette to those who have not before tasted Islay malts.


Having had a number of Islays - Laphroaig 10/CS/18, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Talisker, Bunnahabhain - this Quarter Cask now rules as my favorite. For a young whsiky (reportedly 5 yrs old), this is an incredible dram. On the nose, there's brine, smoke, and peat. On the palate, I get less smoke and peat than with the other Laphroaig expressions. Up front, there is an initial sweetness, citrus, with some caramel and sugar. Interestingly, I even get a small hint of mintiness. The finish is long and smoky, with leather, oak, and iodine on the palate. This is a finish with less smoke than any other Laphroaig I've had. Just an overall delicious whisky. Highly recommended.


When I tried my first quarter cask I was given a dram from my father whom enlightened me. The pale colour was intriguing and the smell more so. It has the smell of peat and spice. The taste of peat was predominant follwed by the sweet nectar.. Quarter Cask is an all time great from laphroaig. I particulary enjoyed this tipple with a Cohiba Robusto as the tase still came through strong and complimented my cigar to the fullest.

This will remain a favourite of mine and one I will continue to enjoy with friends.


Nose: No-apologies, bold whiffs of peat, smoke, and phenol up front. But then it gets more interesting... further exploration reveals hints of gunpowder, sea air, cinnamon and seems to me a bit of black pepper in there too.

Taste: Peat, smoke, oak. Water helps the sweet notes out (which arrive first)--some brown sugar and hints of licorice, but this is predominantly a savoury whisky. Despite the boldness of the peat and smoke, this whisky is more mild mannered than you'd expect.

Finish: Goes on and on. In fact, the finish is the best part about this whisky. The peat and oak gradually recede and reveal sweeter notes... most predominantly a brown sugar layer on the smoke. The cinnamon makes an appearance again.

Summary: This is the bottle that started it all for me. Thought I hated scotch until I tasted this--helped me realize I was drinking the wrong scotches. Thus began (and continues) a lovely series of relationships.

A great Whisky, fresh as the highland winds, sea spray in abundance, a peat and mineral blast experience...

My first Islay also. Love it!


Big big nose full of sugar and spices. I felt some Oudh in there some where along with citrusy orange overtones. The texture is beautifully velvet with a mouthful of vanilla, licorice and smoky dry fruits like nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish stays with you for eons giving you a warm glow in your chest. Unbelievably complex fruity flavors wrapped in gorgeous peat.


Drunk neat or with a few drops of water.

Since this is a peated whisky, its character will quickly change between the first glass and subsequent tastings. I found it quite harsh at first, but it has since mellowed quite a bit, and, in my opinion, is all the better for it. This review is based on the 5th glass, a month after the bottle has first been opened.

Nose: If there is one thing I miss from my first glass, it's the nose. It was much stronger at first: with your eyes closed, you could see the peat fires burning. It is quite lighter now, but the peat is still dominant, with a slight herbal presence in the background.

Taste: After that nose, you would expect a strong attack up front, but no. It starts with a cool, slightly sweet maltiness, with a very slight orange presence. As the whisky warms in your mouth, peat and salt progressively replace the sweetness, and starts attacking the palate and tongue. The transition is done nice and slow, and doesn't show the harshness of the first glass.

Finish: Here, the peat takes most of the place, supported by the alcool's warmth and the oak's dry tannins. It's a very nice combination, which lasts fairly long.

Balance: A very well done whisky. The evolution of very well integrated flavors from the sweet start to the smoky and warm finish make for a very enjoyable, rather complex sipper. Considering the price in Québec (65$), it is a very high value for a peated Islay: in comparison, the Laphroaig 10 is 80$ and the Ardbeg 10 is 90$.

For peat lovers, I strongly recommend it.

A small note I forgot to add: If you find it too harsh, let the whisky breath for a few minutes in the glass before drinking. It will help tone down the peat and allow the other flavors to come through.

Excellent review, @Matthieu, and the Laphroaig Quarter Cask is a very delicious whisky.


This review might be a bit long-winded, so please forgive me. The palate is a very funny thing indeed. For a period of over six months, I was off whisky - not just the strong, smokey and peaty Islay malts - almost entirely. Beer is not my favourite drink of late, either, so it was mostly the gin. Overall, very little alcohol. Very recently, I started back with a fairly mild mannered Irish Whiskey - the Redbreast, with an occasional Jameson thrown in. One night, at home, I had a craving for something different, so I got stuck into my Johnny Walker Green, then the Bowmore 12 year. That was as strong as it got, as I had literally given away all my Islay malts to a good friend. At the local a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a bottle of Ardbeg on the shelf. "Why not?" I said, and ordered a double. So delightful I found it, that after the pub I bought a bottle. After a few drinks, I find it a bit too sweet and a bit too peppery a finish. The next week, I got a bottle of Laphroaig 10 year, which brought the sweetness down a notch and not quite as peppery a finish. Then...last night, after work, I got a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask, hoping that I would like it even better, especially with the higher alcohol content. What an amazing surprise! The Quarter Cask won hands down over both the Ardbeg and Laphroaig 10 Year. When I first opened the bottle, I noticed the wonderful smokey, peaty smell mixed with quite a strong oak smell, which I guess comes from the smaller casks. I still cannot believe the first sip! I had forgotten how smooth a whisky this is, especially give the relatively short aging, which I gather is about 5 years plus some months in the Quarter Cask. Truly one of the most unusual and sublime spirits I have ever had! I had an Ardbeg at lunch today, which is delicious, but now that I am home, I am at the bottle of Laphroaig QC again. Even the Lagavulin Distillers Edition I got last year doesn't come close to this. I don't know where the sweetness comes from. It is almost honey-like, with a nice, thick syrupy sensation rolling round the tongue. But the sweetness doesn't linger like the Ardbeg or the Laphroaig 10 year. Funny how palates can change. When I got my first bottle of Laphroaig QC a year ago, I detected all the iodine and bandaid smells that I hear about. This year, it's different, a very pleasant smokiness mixed with the oak. I couldn't believe the wonderul aroma when I first opened the bottle! I have never given a 100 score on any whisky. But I have to give full credit here. And to Laphroaig for having the balls to go the extra mile and produce this, based upon the smaller casks of years ago. Non-chill filtered and bottled at a higher strength. Even with the higher alcohol content, the strong alcohol taste does not come through. I suppose, at least for me, this is a close to a nectar as one can get! Again, I don't know or understand what happened to my palate for those months. All I can say is that I am back again with, what seems like, an old friend.

Cheers, Carl

"That was as strong as it got, as I had literally given away all my Islay malts to a good friend" Why did you give it away?

I just picked up a bottle of QC last night for the first time after a few people recommended it. I really enjoyed it. Funny how sometimes one loses the taste for whisk(e)y ever now and then. there was actually a discussion on this site a few weeks back about the subject.

Good review!


Better then the 10 yr old. sweeter, carmel, nutmeg, orange (cooked), balanced fine.. a little water opens Quater Cask to almost smoke apples, burnt sugar and dark chocolate. Peaty absolute but nothing near Ardbeg sometimes harsh smokiness. Nice sweetness, sugary malt, peat and smoke.. Like it Alot.. Only if South Florida ever gets cold to enjoy a nice peaty one. It's young but very dam fun!!


Although it's summer when I write this. Quarter cask is best suited to the winter months. Sat in front of a lovely wood fire, after a bracing walk in the glens. It's quite close to the 10 year old. Maybe a touch sweeter, with a little less fire and fury. I would be more comfortable serving this to a friend less versed in Islay poetry. It's classic stuff. The nose is almost better than the palate which is so rare.

Nose - Seaside rules with seaweed, salt and bonfires on the beach, fresh herbs (maybe thyme).

Palate - Huge peat and smoke is first to hit but mellows quickly into oak, aniseed and some barley sugar.Classic iodine also shines through.

Finish - 20 - 30 seconds long. Amazing, bitter sweet with salt and smoke that charges up the nose and ends with spice and youthful spirit.

Inspiring stuff for a winter evening.


I was shopping a little while back and found this bottle was reduced from around £35 to £25, so as I like a bargain I thought I should get a bottle! I’d tried the standard 10 year Laphroaig before but the Quarter Cask was a new one for me, and I am glad I took the plunge and bought it now!

It has a light colour to it, almost like a bleached copper, not sure how I got that comparison, but that’s what came to my head at the time! Obviously with this being an Islay malt, the peaty, smoky aromas are strong, but thankfully not too overpowering. I also caught a Madeira smell, and found a kind of sterile aroma in there somewhere!

You expect a heavy hit when you try Islay whiskies, because of the aromas and peat involved, they tend to sort the men from the boys, and this is no different. It gives you a swift kick to let you know its there, and gave me a bit of butter and citrus zing in there for good measure. As it finishes, well it’s a long smoky finish that you can imagine enjoying on a cold winters night.

I enjoyed the Laphroaig 10 year old, and described it as an animal before, but the Quarter Cask is a monster, and quickly disappeared from my shelf! My favourite whiskies tend to be smoother and softer, but this has thrown a spanner in those works, it’s my favourite Islay so far (although I’ve got the Alligator to open shortly) and now hold this in my top 5 whiskies.

It is hard to find anyone who likes appreciable peat in whiskies who doesn't like Laphroaig Quarter Cask!


During a wonderful and romantic stay at Breadalbane Inn in Fergus ON, I ordered this smooth and memorable Islay malt before dinner. The nose was more fruity (some citrus? Lemon?)than other Islays I've had, and the taste featured that unmistakeable peat with a sweet finish. Quite complex and enjoyable. Definitely recommended.


The Laphroaig Quarter Cask is the only Laphroaig that is available in Montreal region. It usually goes out twice a year and is sold out within a week. I try to grab a bottle when I can. For those who doesn't know, the quarter casks are smaller casks (who didn't get that!) that were used in old times to transport the whiskies easier and more secretly. Laphroaig uses these casks to finish some refill bourbon mature cask. It is younger than 10 years old as the quarter cask accelerates the maturation process (more wood surface per liter). It is 48%, so I added a few drops of water to open it up.

Nose: It is definitively a Laphroaig. It's youth brings a big peaty nose with smoke, but less medicinal notes than the 10 yo. It is rather more fruity with pears and citrus notes and a tad of exotic fruits. Very nice

Mouth: Peated baby ! I find the QC better than the 10 yo. The fruity notes (pear) bring a more balanced whisky and more complex. hints of vanilla and some smoke

Finish: Long. Peaty and smoky.

A very good peated malt, smoother than the regular 10yo, which brings more complexity and balance in my opinion.


As the name already suggest, quarter casks are small barrels, that were used for transportation on horseback or mule back in the day. Much later, the industry switched to larger vessels and the use of these casks dissappeared. Laphroaig changed that. Their young whisky got a second maturation in these smaller casks, after their initial stint in regular bourbon barrels. This implied a faster maturation, of course, because the spirit and wood got in touch more easily. Since the whisky is bottled at an ABV of 48%, chill-filtration is redundant.

While I get the classic traits of Laphroaig on the nose (peat, salt, iodium), I had expected more oak. I'm happily surprised that this one is quite creamy and sweet. I get some coconut, butter, tea, banana and - after a few minutes - some white chocolate. Complex and formidable.

It's very creamy and mouthcoating and starts of with a powerful burst of peat, followed by salty seaweeds, before release the vanilla and citrus. Some charcoal and cloves as well. Elegant!

The finish, which is long and starts very smoky, offers some oak at last, making the end transform from sweet to slightly bitter.

This is probably (I'm not entirely sure, though) younger than the 10 Year Old, but the quarter casks give it more depth and a longer finish. Those casks may be small, but they are brave. In short, this Laphroaig is wonderful and better than the 10 Year Old.

the subtle white chocolate was one of the flavours I enjoyed in this dram! I was wondering if anyone else had picked it up!


Such a lovely whisky, and one to reckoned by. If I remember correctly this was the 4th bottle in my cabinet (real life), and was such an exploration into the world of peat smoke. On a sidenote, this whisky is such a reasonable price you can't pass it up.

N:Sweet smoke and citrus start up this act followed by a nice background of peat moving to the foreground. Tar and asphalt take a hold of the nose, but in a pleasant way with more smokey peat hot on it's tail. At one point, a very clean stillness takes the saddle, but is shadowed by more sweet smoke. A lemony zest is also floating around in the glass though it is still fairly light. B:Oiliness is average with thick beading and lazily falling legs running at a moderate rate. The colour appears a pale straw. T:Peat and more sweet smoke play around on the tongue along with notes of light vanilla and a bit of what seems to be sugarcane. Zestiness is also recognized entwining with a background spicines, barely missing a beat. The peat and smoke are both ever present throughout the experience.

F:Like a smokehouse with hanging salted meats about, then peat makes another welcomed appearance, like the floor of the smokehouse is a peat bed slowing burning mingling in the air. A little oaky bitterness along with smallish vanilla notes crop up to join the midst. Mouth is watering slightly and the whisky has a mouth coating effect. BEAUTIFUL!

Once again I love this whisky, it blew my mind the first time I tried it and everytime I open the bottle my heart skips a beat. A milestone for me and I hope others are able to relate. Slainte!

Great whisky. Strong flavoured and very good value for the money. It grows on you!


Laphroaig is one of the more well-known distilleries on Islay, and the Laphroaig Quarter Cask is an attempt to distill a whisky that tastes like it would have done 200 years ago – it does this by using smaller barrels as per the 18th century (when whisky was transported by packhorse). The theory is that with smaller barrels there is more contact between the wood and the whisky during the maturation process, which very quickly gives the whisky its flavour.

So then, on to the whisky itself. It smells, as you would expect, like a fireplace. A gently roaring wood-burning stove, to be precise. Damp earth. Charred wood. Something sweeter, fruitier. On the tongue the sweetness hits you and it’s not as smoky as you might first fear; you can really taste the malted barley now. The second sip and that sweetness takes a grip: there’s a burnt caramel edge to it. A smokey, blood-orange marmalade, and with less of a medicinal, iodine note than the Laphroaig 10. This is young and isn’t too complex. It’s got a decent weight in the mouth, though doesn’t linger too long afterwards – you’re just left with taste of smoke and spice. If this isn’t escapism, I don’t know what is.

Drink this, close your eyes. I challenge you not to dream of the rugged coast of Islay.


I'm going to start this review off by saying that I've never been one to find all these extreme and exuberant tastes/scents in the whiskies that I drink, so I'm not going to pretend about that. I just got in from walking my dog in raining 0 degree weather and the Quarter Cask is the first bottle I reached for to warm me up.

The nose isn't too strong, but immediately there's peat enveloped by a smokey cloud. The deeper you breath in though, the more you can smell the citrus underneath the smoke and peat.

The palate is sweet at the beginning and rather subdued but once you coat your mouth with it, it's gets strong and you taste the peat and a slight burning on the tongue. There's a medicinal taste somewhere in there. It's a very fluid dram and easily coats your mouth.

Once you swallow the dram you can feel the liquid warming you right to the core. It's got a typical peaty finish but it's surprisingly not as smokey and powerful as I would have expected it to be. It's a medium-long finish.

Overall impressions of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask are really good. It's a composed malt whose flavours are blended perfectly together. It's a lot more medicinal than Bowmore and Lagavulin in my opinion, but that neither adds nor takes away from it's greatness. I love Islay malts, but this one is a particularly easy dram to love.

Had a bottle of this open for a while, should finish it off. Definitely good on a rainy day!

I love this whisky, It's what raised my interest in whisky to the level of mild obsession.


Last dram of schoolbreak was a laphroaig quarter cask. Right out of the bottle, I can tell this is Good stuff: we get of course the signature peat. But we get green notes as well: Apple, coconut, brine.

And on the palate we get fruity malt lined w/ smoke, salty iodine. And spices: White, black pepper, nutmeg.

The alcool is there, but do not becomes overwhelming to me. My girlfriend disagreed, but she's more of a rhum person anyway ;).

We get so much from the malt, it's really nice. Not just the sweetness, but the floral-fruity notes. And the peat which is there all around, liek the silver lining on a colourfull cloud. No storms here: it's all about the balance between the mal, the wood and the peat. But all are bold yet constrained. I really do not know how they manage it.

Highland Park is a well balanced dram as well, but to me it feels as if everything is too subdued in HP, too calm. Here, things are happening, things are moving, people are singing. And it makes me happy.

Adding water brings, as expected, som flowery notes (roses?) and seems to underline the sweetness a bit. And it seemed to make me loose the salty notes I oh so love. So no water anymore.

The finish is good with the coconut coming back w/ some fresh hard wood. The smoke leaves a nice dryness as well. I feel like i'm back in time doing reno work with my dad and grandpa. The fresh and vibrant wood notes, the burned smell you get when drilling or sawing to vigourously. Wow!

That was my first Laphroaig. In the past, Lagavulin and Caol Ila were my goto Islay peat pushers. But, wow, this one is now right up ther with those 2. Only wished it had a bit more depth. I guess I'll have to try the 10 YO Cask Strenght. Poor ol' me ;)


Nose: peat (duh), burning charcoal in a BBQ pit, salted butter, grilled lemons, an interesting floral note. 

Palate: I get a great sense of charred wood. There's an initial sweetness that is subtle and doesn't stick around for long. A bit of pepper. This one really reminds me not of a bonfire, but of a cookout and I like that.

Finish: classic peat and smoke, unaccompanied. 

Great whisky. All the flavors are in harmony. I don't find this to be super complex (it's not simple either), but that certainly doesn't stop it from being a great whisky. Quite flavorful. A great representative of Islay.


Colour: light gold.

Nose: Peat, but not too overwhelming, creamy and sweetyish

Taste: neat: firm body, rich, salty, but not too, lightly vanilla and creamy - with water: smoky peat, velvety, sweetish and creamy, less salty and nutty

Finish: very long and dry - with water: still long and little sweeter, fruity

Comments: for me, this is an excellent whisky and even more enjoyable with three drops of water, imho!!

@ BlueNote...I believe the whisky matures in the QC for approx. 4 years with youngest whisky in the batch being around 8-9 years. When watching Laphroaig Live on the Laphroaig website, Master Blender Robert Hicks mentions approx. how long the QC is in the smaller casks. I'm not sure but I think he makes mention of it during the "Laphroaig Live at the Distillery" episode. If not in that episode, then check the "Kentucky" episode. I watched all four episodes one night and they all blended together (no pun intended).

BTW, here's the website... www.laphroaig.com/tv/index.asp ...once you click open and launch Laphroaig TV, go to channel 4, open and you'll see the three episodes to view. The 2010 episode from Spain can be found on YouTube. All but one (I think the London episode) can be found on YouTube which is much easier to watch because on YouTube you can expand the view to full screen where as within the Laphroaig Live it's one size, small screen to view. Hope this info is useful.


Dom says "Laphroaig at it's best but without a scary price tag. Nose: Classic Islay. The same acerbic nip which you get from the smouldering remains of last night's fire, the faint tanginess of sea salt in the breeze, and traces of lemon juice. Palate: Big and intense, with peat to the fore but a surprisingly silky smooth and sweet follow through. It makes for classic thumping Laphroaig but surprisingly attracts some drinkers not normally enamoured by the distillery's offering. Finish: long and Laphroaigy"

michelles says "We drank a bottle of this a few years ago on holiday in Morocco and I got a bit tired of the extremely woody flavour. Coming back to quarter cask now I'm happy to say I like it a lot, lot more. Fruity, pears, apples, fried bacon rind, peaty, salty, vanilla, grapey, winey, still lots of wood but tempered by sweetness. Really nice."


"Fabulous Laphraoig, this. Love it: Nose: Light peat on the nose. Sweeter than the 10. Pears. Liquorice allsorts (blue ones). Taste: Apples, aniseed, sweet smoke."

this is in our vertical Laphroaig tasting


It's snowing here as a write this and looking out at the drifts I think this is the perfect expression for the season. It has all the elements of late fall/early winter: warmth, smokiness, and just a touch of sugar.

Nose: At first it's like putting your face into a camp fire. Wood smoke and burning leaves. Even sitting on the table a few feet away is like sitting by a roaring fireplace. Underneath the smoke is a layer of sweet citrus, oranges perhaps. Finally, just a touch of sugar.

Tongue: The burn is medium strong, but quickly gives away to a smoothness you wouldn't expect from the nose. Cocoa, light vanilla, rice pudding perhaps? The smoke comes back in at the end, hanging around the back of the mouth long after the others have faded.

Body: This is a very solid dram. It fills the mouth without being too demanding and, with the exception of a pleasant smoke trail, doesn't hang around too long. Very well mannered without being timorous.

Just a touch of sugar? This is the sweetest Laphroaig, by far, that I have tasted. Those little casks give a lot more opportunity for the sugars from the wood to sweeten this up. Like you, I do like it very much, and would rate it about 8.5

You are right that it's nowhere near as dry or peaty as other Laphroaigs I've had. But the touch of sugar was in reference to the nose. I think far more of the sugar comes out on the tongue.


I've just recently decided to embark upon discovering fine Whisky again after a lay off of a few years. I bought a bottle of this Quarter Cask and tried a few glasses neat, with a drop of water and left for half hour or so... Good god I can't remember tasting such an intense Whisky with so many different defined levels, tastes and surprises in every glass. I can't describe all the different qualities as there was so much going on with it but a clean bite then pepper, peat and sea-salt jump out with a smokey melting finish that lingers... stronger stuff for me at 48% as I prefer 40% but no doubt that this is a class act for real connoisseurs.

After tasting this again I would re-rate this 9.5.. very special Whisky, beautifully smokey with several distinct levels of evolution in the taste.. will be keeping this bottle handy for the biting winter we have down here now..


Air temperature is cooling down here in New York, making this the beginning of Scotch season for me. Fall and Winter are ideal for sitting back with a wonderful Scotch, unwinding after a long week and spending time on...me. Selfish perhaps, but I'll freely admit my guilt to that luxury.

My drink of the day. Laphroaig Quarter Cask. First time I've had the pleasure of sipping this liquid gold. If Laphroaig had a wealthy, sophisticated, suave uncle, this bottle would be it.

Think James Bond meets the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world. And, there you would have Quarter Cask.

A soft smokiness combined with an almost sweet character make this bottle my new all-time favorite.

Run to enjoy it for yourselves.

I really enjoy that scotch too, I was really surprised when I first tasted it, the marriage of smoke, peat and the sweetness really took me for a loop. I highly recommend it.


This was "the" whisky to switch my palate from an islay hater to an islay lover. Best way to describe this whisky is like inhaling a campfire (not burning part, just the smokey meat goodness part). I found myself smelling the dram more than drinking it, though the taste was definitely savored.

welcome into the club! this is really good stuff, i don't think there's anything comparable in the market for that price, or even for twice that price...

@jac finally writes some reviews!!! Glad you're joining in the fun.

Ah, the savory campfire... There's nothing quite like it.


The powerful peat hits the nose, with alcohol, and then subsides to sweet barley, and burnt marshmallow.

This is a very bold, powerfully sweet, velvety scotch. Very very nice. Seaweed is of course on the finish, but the sweetness just lingers all over your mouth.



So, there is a very interesting story to the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Apparently, years ago, before you and I were born (well, maybe not you, or you, or her, but he and me), the good folks at Laphroaig (and perhaps other distilleries) used to use smaller casks for transporting whisky as it was easier to do so by way of the ‘pony express’.

Well, enter the modern world where everything is about how you can ’save a buck’, and these distilleries chose to use larger casks for transporting via rail & road.

In doing so, what was lost, however, was a quicker maturation process (due to greater contact with the wood, up to 30%) and an added oakiness the extra wood contact imparted.

Laphroaig revived quarter casking for this expression and I have to say I’m quite thankful they did. In comparison to the Laphroaig 10yr, this Quarter Cask expression has a softer mouth feel and more of a sweetness which both offsets and compliments the amount of peat in this baby. As a bonus, it’s bottled at 48%!!

Not only is this expression (in my eyes) superior in almost every way to their standard 10yr, it’s only about $7-10 more over the 10yr — a real bargain if you ask me!

Here we go!

Initial whiffs – Smoke, like a furnace blast, rather sweet, orange blossoms and extinguished soy candles, pine, oak, herbal/flowery tea (chamomile perhaps?), rotten bananas – I can almost taste the fruit flies

Palate – Smokey & quite leathery, chewy but smooth in texture & medicinal/herbal, loads of oak (the quarter sized casks have a huge influence here), much better than their standard 10yr expression – the balance is great!

Finish – Long, smoky, drying finish, tons of oak here! Quite satisfying.

In sum — With all of the medicinal & herbal notes in this baby, she’ll nurse you back to health! This is like Scottish chicken soup. Quite warming, even after first sip. If you’re not a peat head, this is not one for you, this is a peaty one and I think you’d have a tough time getting past the initial smoke blast this one gives you. If you are a peat head — welcome to heaven!

Side note (or would it be a footer way down here….hmmmm) – The fact that they have a titanium white cork cap kills me. You’d think, with all of the peat in this one, that the cap would be charred & melted or something.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask is my favorite dram above all others. When you are sent to the proverbial desert island this is the one I am taking. To paraphrase Jim Murray (Whisky Bible) "More iodiny than iodine." and somehow delicious.

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Indeed, probably the best of the young special bottlings from the Islay distilleries.


In the UK currently selling at around £21 in Waitrose, this is insanely good value. Even though its matured faster than the 10 year old (8 years I believe) I don't know how they can make something this good, keep it for 8 years and sell it at that price. It would be good value at £30.

On the nose this is unmistakably Laphroaig, that classic peat is there but something sweeter is here that you don't get on the ten year old. Malty, sweet and a hint of zest.

In the mouth those flavours continue, a warm oily body and a smokiness but balanced with a sweetness that smooths out the edges.

It stands up well to a drop of water, which really releases those oils and flavours. Smokey, spicy, malty sweetness and a softening of the 48% burn.

A long satisfying finish during which you can work out how much more than £21 you'd be willing to pay for this.

My advice is get down to Waitrose before they realise its a mix up and put the price up.

Good call, might need to visit the Waitrose in the basement of John Lewis on Oxford St (round the corner from work) to pick up a bottle. BTW there's a whisky enthusiast who works there, don't know his name but honest & knowledgeable (pointed me to an amazing Chateaux Nuef De Pape after a good chat about whisky)

While I find the QC a good dram I like the 10y cask strength better. 2 days back I did a taste comparison of the two and everyone present agreed that the CS came out as a clear winner. I like the sharpness and the spicy pepper of the CS and that is missing in the QC. Fyi: It was the red-stripe CS, not the new batch #1


Incredible. Perfect Laphroaig smoke balanced with just the right amount of sherry smoothness, warming, cozy, near perfection

As I sat reviewing this myself last night, I asked myself how it is possible to give it 100%. I thought the Ardbeg and the Laphroaig 10 year were wonderful, but to me they pale in comparison. The QC is still $80 here in my part of Canada, but still the least expensive for us of almost all of the Islay Single Malts. At $80 it is still worth every penny. The only other one I wish I could lay my hands on, is the 10 year Cask Strength. But I doubt that I could find it any better than QC.

Quarter Cask is just incredible and you can't beat it for value. How long can they keep the price this low?


The nose has all the classic Laphroaig notes - sea salt, smoke, peat, iodine, along with the sweetness that a lot of Laphroaig's have, once you adjust to the powerful upfront aromas. A hint of citrus as well. Typically powerful Laphroaig - I can be several feet away and catch peat and smoke notes. It can be hard on those nearby who aren't into peaty smoky smells (like my wife), but for those of us who are, it is genuinely warm and scrumptious.

The taste is warm, full and mouth-watering - starts smoky, with notes of sea salt and iodine, and moves beautifully into a toffee sweetness with a hint of spice. There is peat there, but it is surprisingly light on the tongue.

The finish is long and powerful. It starts with the remnants of the toffee fading as the spice grows slightly stronger, and the classic peat and smoke come back in droves. As much as 15 minutes later, there is still a slow peat feel in the back of my throat. Truly fantastic!

I got a bottle of this when a mate of mine was up North in one of the smaller cities in the state and dropped into a whisky store. I don't think the owner knew what he had, because there were two on the shelf at a much reduced price. He bought one, and phoned me up to see if I wanted the other one. This had been on my list for a while, and at the price, my wife only required me to go through a relatively minor amount of begging... ;)

The flavours are fairly simple, but very well balanced, very powerful, and ~very~ Laphroaig. Robust and full of character, I honestly love this dram, and would recommend it to anyone who is able to handle the peaty smoky stuff.

Just had this for the 1st time last night at WhiskyFest. Fantastic stuff. I'm not a fan of the standard 10yr. The wood influence here is huge, toffee, vanilla and smoked seaweed. The standard 10yr turned me off to the line, the QC has made me a fan!

Great review!

So, I've finally reviewed everything in my cabinet, things should slow down from here... :)


If you like smoky whisky this is a great first step up from the "regular" whiskies. This is a lot of whisky for your money!


Nose: Peat, Honey Palate: sweet, smoky, smooth, full, woody

Although a young Laphroaig it has a very nice balance. I still love the peatiness of the 10 but this is nice too, although not as hard hitting

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