Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
What the Distillery Says
For several years, our Friends of Laphroaig have been interested in tasting a Cask Strength version of our popular Laphroaig Quarter Cask — which offers an irresistible doubling of flavour, due to the double maturation in two barrels made of American oak. This year we decided to bring this dream into reality.
First fill Makers Mark casks have been used for the first maturation of 5+ years in Warehouse 1 next to the Atlantic Ocean. Different ages have been awoken temporarily to be brought together, before laying to rest for a second time in our smaller quarter casks (125lt). After a further 6 month maturation, the liquid from 177 of these casks were put into the bottle at Cask Strength, with no colour, no chilling and a simple barrier filtration.
What Gary Says
Nose: “Classic Laphroaig” profile – medicinal (band-aids, iodine, rubber bands), sea air, peat, earthy – but with a really nice hint of sherry sweetness followed by some smoke; not as hot or sharp as I’d expect at this proof.
Palate: Oily mouthfeel with sweet malt that kicks up after a bit, with pepper, peat, sour oak and smoke throughout.
Finish: Fairly long and with a drying peppery smokiness that leaves me wanting more.
Comments: I’ve found that Laphroaig is typically one of those “polarizing whiskies” – most folks either really like it or don’t care for it at all. I’m in the “really like it” camp. Laphroaig holds a special place for me as the first Scotch I fell in love with, and my first sip of this one lit me up inside. It reminds me of Laphroaig PX Cask, which I really enjoy (but unfortunately can’t buy retail in the US). It has that nice sweetness added to the peaty/medicinal/sea-air profile. This drinks like a lower proof pour – and while water doesn’t hurt it (really maintains that nice oily mouthfeel), I didn’t find myself needing to add any. If you’re a fan of Laphroaig, I’d absolutely look for a chance to give this a shot.
Rating: Must Try
What Richard Says
Nose: The nose of this reaches out and grabs you. As soon as it goes from bottle to class the smokey, seaweed laden smell come right at you. Spend more time with a bit of water in it and creamy vanilla notes start to come out.
Palate: More of that rich and creamy vanilla hits you first before it starts to settle in to campfire smoke and a classic Laphroaig astringent medicinal flavor, not unlike Bandaids.
Finish: I’m left with a heavier medicinal finish and wisps of smoke. There is also something there that’s almost meaty.
Comments: The only Laphroaig better than Laphroaig is cask strength Laphroaig. If there is every a scotch that carries proof well it is Laphroaig. This is everything good about the Quarter Cask kicked up a notch. I’m saying this is a must try whisky but you don’t care for Islay scotches then this probably isn’t for you. It’s not the most interesting Islay out there but if you like your scotch young and peaty then this one is for you.
Rating: Must Try
We would like to thank Laphroaig for sending us a sample to review.
Laphroaig Islay Quarter Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
What the Distillery Says:
Laphroaig Quarter Cask offers an irresistible doubling of flavour, due to the double maturation in two barrels made of American oak. Still-maturing whisky from our standard ex-bourbon barrels is transferred to quarter casks and left to rest in our warehouse just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic shore.
This process represents Laphroaig breathing new life into a once-defunct tradition: the use of the smaller cask size, which ensures increased contact with the oak, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig’s distinctive peatiness.
On the nose the sensation is toffee and caramel, caused by the vanillas and tannins of the American oak, plus a dryness from the wood oil. The finish is long and alternates between this sweetness and smoke.
COLOUR: Full sparkling gold
NOSE: Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas
BODY: Full bodied
PALATE: Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness
FINISH: Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice
What Richard Says:
Nose: This is a campfire the next morning after it has died down and the embers were doused with a light rain or heavy dew. There is also a musty woody note like old polished furniture long forgotten.
Palate: Very creamy in the mouth. The 48% ABV seems to be ideal for viscosity. A nice toffee sweetness plays with the smoky flavors well.
Finish: A little hot and rustic on the finish. Spicy with more lingering smoke.
Comments: A very fine dram in it’s own right but it’s interesting to compare it to the 10 Year Old Cask Strength. In the 10 year the Islay character comes through more peaty and briney. In the Quarter Cask it comes through much smokier. Not different enough to rock your world but you can’t go wrong with either version.
Rating: Stands Out
I would like to thank Ben and the team over at DBC Public Relations for providing us with bottles for review.
We recently received a feature request from the folks at DBC Public Relations for a Laphroaig feature leading up to Father’s Day and Graduations. Well we love Laphroaig over here at Whisk(e)y Apostle so it was a no-brainer. Over the next few days we will feature reviews of several expressions provided to us for review including:
- Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask
- Laphroaig Triple Wood
- Laphroaig 18 Year
Again, in full disclosure we were provided the above bottles for review but that in no way impacts our reviews. Additionally, we’ll pull an old bottle of Laphroaig 15 Year from the dusty Whisk(e)y Apostle bunker for comparison to the 18 Year that replaced it. That one we paid for and sadly it’s the last one we have. 🙁
Laphroaig is spearheading their campaign with the cask strength expression of their 10 year old. Here’s a little piece from them on gifting Laphroaig this season:
I wanted to share info on a great Scotch that dads and recent grads (21+ up!) will love.
- Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength is a strong, peaty single malt Scotch bottled straight from the barrel and only barrier-filtered to remove remnants of American oak barrel char. Both fathers and graduates will appreciate the thoughtful gift of Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength – deserving Dads will be able to enjoy a classic and unforgettable Scotch, and Grads will be given the chance to start a worthy Scotch collection.
- Your gift will also keep dads and grads in good company, considering that Laphroaig’s most famous patron is recognized by the distinctive coat of arms, which is proudly carried on every bottle. In 1994, HRH Prince Charles personally came to Laphroaig and gave his Royal Warrant — which is especially fitting for Laphroaig, as His Royal Highness is the present “Lord of the Isles.”
- Lastly, you’ll be giving more than the world’s #1 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky! Each bottle of Laphroaig contains a lifelong gift: a unique code inside the bottle allows recipients to register as a Friend of Laphroaig and receive a lifetime lease on one square foot of land on the island of Islay, right next to the distillery.