"This is what I call a good example of a signature Laphroaig! Too bad it is limited, and only available to friends"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
A yearly happening, the release of the limited cask strength version of Laphroaig, causing their website to completely clog and leaving many fans world-wide in temporal desperation. It has been so since 2001, when it was first released, and since then it has become highly regarded by my whisky fans and critics alike. Maybe Laphroaig is indeed a distillery that particularly benefits from upping the percentage of alcohol, unleashing its true and distinctive character? Or is the rumour that cask strength versions are always better then diluted bottlings? Let us see for ourselves!
There is a sweetish start along with some vanilla, orange sweets, I suspect that is the bourbon cask talking, and then come the bandaids and iodine solution. It is pleasant and surprisingly soft. Over time it gets sweeter and sweeter, but no too though. Some more citrus fruits like grapefruit and lemon and some lime skin lead to more freshness. In fact, it becomes fresh like a sea breeze with a breath of sea wind, scents of sea weed and beach sand heated by the sun. Lovely! Then also some salty caramel, pine tree, gravel, hint of tooth paste. This is fulfilling and complex.
One drop on the tongue and it explodes, bringing complex notes of bandaids, iodide and an orange-y aftertaste. Oh, I like that very much! Cigarette ashes and bonfires are also entering the mix. The smoke is penetrating, but in a lovely way, very much balances the whole. The different notes are changing, rearranging and come back again. Soft though profound smoke mingles perfectly with citrus fruits, sea weed and beach sand. All very lovely, and yeah, there was definitely some bourbon casks involved. I also get some Spa Red, minerals, in particular calcium.
This is what I call a good example of a signature Laphroaig! Too bad it is limited, and only available to friends. Well, for that you only have to buy a bottle of any Laphroaig and enter the code on their website. So a good reason to buy that bottle of Quarter cask, also good for comparison with this.
A big thanks to for sharing the sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •