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:))