Saturday, April 23, 2011

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

stats: single malt scotch, Islay, 96 proof, no age statement, non-chill filtered. $45

Back in the day, some scotches were put in fairly small barrels so they could be transported by packhorse or mule. As the barrel size goes down, the percentage of the liquid inside that is in contact with the wood goes up, speeding up the maturation process. The folks at Laphroaig have recreated these quarter sized casks, and used that to finish aging some of their whisky that had already spent time in regular sized casks. The result is brilliant. My favorite of all the heavily peated scotches I have tried so far. And unique, aging for less time in a smaller cask definitely has a different effect than aging for a longer time in a traditional size cask. It has a good clean peaty, malty nose. Velvety, creamy texture, big flavor. The smokiness is sharp and intense, but not harsh. Great balance of flavors between the peat, the malty sweetness, and the oak, with a bit of brine. Super long, lingering finish. It just keeps going, reverberating. The smell of the empty glass the next morning puts a smile on my face.

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