Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Islay region – 48%ABV – 750ml bottle – $39 and up | £27 | €32

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 sumWith 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.

12 thoughts on “Laphroaig Quarter Cask”

  1. Great review. I have the urge to stock up and squirrel away cases of the stuff in case it they decide to stop making it. Quarter Cask really is incredible…it would be incredible at twice the price!

  2. Great review. I have the urge to stock up and squirrel away cases of the stuff in case it they decide to stop making it. Quarter Cask really is incredible…it would be incredible at twice the price!

  3. One of my all time favorite Islays. Amazing bang for the buck. those embers of peat are a pleasure to my palate.
    Love the little Q.Cs..
    i think they also used small ones to smuggle and not pay tax 🙂

    Enjoy your Laphroaig my friend.

    Today is St. Patricks, so might as well get going with some Guinness and a wee Bushmills.

    Slainte!

  4. One of my all time favorite Islays. Amazing bang for the buck. those embers of peat are a pleasure to my palate.
    Love the little Q.Cs..
    i think they also used small ones to smuggle and not pay tax 🙂

    Enjoy your Laphroaig my friend.

    Today is St. Patricks, so might as well get going with some Guinness and a wee Bushmills.

    Slainte!

  5. @Peter – I am with you on this! Most people I talk to say that, beside the Laphroaig 18 (or the near untouchable 30), this is Lahproaig’s best expression (worth much more than the price they are asking). Let’s not tell Laphroaig, OK?!

    @Gal I knew you’d like this review. This is right up your alley! And, I think you’re right about smuggling 🙂 Enjoy your Bushmills & Guinness. The only Irish whiskey I have at home is Jameson and I use that as a mixer. Maybe I’ll have some Bailey’s & Irish Mist Liqueur today. Or pick up some Connemara Peated Irish whiskey 😉

  6. @Peter – I am with you on this! Most people I talk to say that, beside the Laphroaig 18 (or the near untouchable 30), this is Lahproaig’s best expression (worth much more than the price they are asking). Let’s not tell Laphroaig, OK?!

    @Gal I knew you’d like this review. This is right up your alley! And, I think you’re right about smuggling 🙂 Enjoy your Bushmills & Guinness. The only Irish whiskey I have at home is Jameson and I use that as a mixer. Maybe I’ll have some Bailey’s & Irish Mist Liqueur today. Or pick up some Connemara Peated Irish whiskey 😉

  7. I love this whisky, especially for the value, flying through Heathrow my brother picked me up a liter bottle for 31 pounds. With a dash of water it is incredible smooth for such heavy peat. I need to find the bottles for $39, here in DC they sell for anywhere from $57 to $70.

  8. I love this whisky, especially for the value, flying through Heathrow my brother picked me up a liter bottle for 31 pounds. With a dash of water it is incredible smooth for such heavy peat. I need to find the bottles for $39, here in DC they sell for anywhere from $57 to $70.

  9. @David Have you tried wine-searcher.com? You can find great deals with that website! It searches all listed stores in the US/EU/UK, etc…

  10. @David Have you tried wine-searcher.com? You can find great deals with that website! It searches all listed stores in the US/EU/UK, etc…

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