Laphroaig takes inspiration from the small casks used for Scotch Whisky in the 19th century and frequently transported across the Glens by packhorse. As the industry grew, they fell into disuse – bigger and more cost effective barrels became the norm, for maturation and transportation. However as single malt lovers may know, the relationship between the barrels and the maturing spirit is critical. Small cask size gives up to 30% greater contact with the wood, greatly intensifying the maturation process and enhancing the whisky.
Laphroaig has decided to recreate some of the Quarter Casks and the flavours they produce. Maturing Laphroaig Malts from larger style barrels are transferred into Quarter Casks. There then followed a further periods of maturation in Dunnage Warehouse No1. For greater authenticity, the whisky was barrier filtered, the method used in those far off days, and bottled at a higher alcoholic strength. The resultant Whisky is a surprise and delight. The additional oak influence creates a soft sweetness and velvety feel when first tasted, then the intense peatiness so unique to Laphroaig, comes bursting through. The finish is very long and alternates between the sweetness and the peat
Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, sweet intense malt and lovely, refreshing citrus as well. Mouth-watering, mouth-filling and mouth-astounding: the perfect weight of the smoke has no problems filling every crevice of the palate, builds towards a sensationally sweet maltiness at the middle. Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice. Classic Laphroaig, a great distillery back to its awesome if a little sweet, self. Layer upon layer of sexed-up peatiness, this is the closest I remember it to some 30 years ago!