May 18, 2016

Laphroaig Quarter Cask...

Laphroaig Quarter Cask (48.0%): Now this is an NAS whisky nobody ever complained about... If I don't remember wrong it was released sometime around 2004 and I didn't hear anybody bad-mouthing it ever since. We all knew that it was only a five to six years old ex-bourbon barrel whisky which spent an additional 7-8 months in quarter casks but we absolutely loved it. The growing frustration towards NAS whiskies is not caused simply because the brands do not print the digits on their labels. It is growing because distilleries and brands are jacking up the prices of their NAS whiskies constantly and they use NAS products as a tool simply to maximize their profit only. But there are great examples like Glenfarclas 105, Ardbeg Uigeadail or in this case Laphroaig Quarter Cask which proved in years that if you execute a quality whisky and ask a reasonable price for it people won't try to tear down your product. That simple... Laphroaig is my favorite one amongst the three neighboring distilleries of the southern coast of Islay and I am so glad that Quarter Cask finally found its way back to my cabinet after a long break. Now, let's start with the tasting, pouring now... Color: Light amber, bright, clear yellow gold. Nose: Gosh... Where do I start? First wave carries baskets of fruits: Grilled pineapple chunks, ripe mango slices and red plums. Then I close my eyes and I imagine myself chilling somewhere on a West Mediterranean coast: Olive brine, sea salt dried on skin and cotton rags soaked in gasoline. Beach sand and warm sea breeze. It connects seamless to the next layer after some time: Ashtray left on the dining table the night before. Half burnt fuming logs in the fireplace (same morning presumably...) and chimney soot. Like it wasn't enough on top of all there is some vanilla, burnt granulated sugar, fir and rosemary. A few drops of water add some citrusy qualities: burnt lemon peel and bergamot. I really don't want to stop nosing, Glencairn glass is glued to my nose... Palate: Toasted oak staves, tanned leather and hints of cardamom... Back to the beach: Salted smoked mackerel, cured olives and heavily toasted pine nuts. A little water makes it drier and smokier. Burnt milk, seaweed and dry black garden soil. Finish: A pleasant numbing at the back of my throat... Long, dry and loaded with tar. Cracked black peppercorns, charcoal and cigar smoke. Overall: Cracker whisky... One my favorites in Laphroaig's current line-up. If you have the 10 year old cask strength and Quarter Cask in your whisky cabinet you are pretty much covered. I hope they won't try to push the price of this bottle in near future. Nothing more I can say about this dram. Highly, highly recommended...

Laphroaig Distillery // Visitor Center, November 2009
Laphroaig Distillery // Still Room, November 2009