Laphroaig Quarter Cask Review

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

48% abv

Score:  89.5/100

Another monster from the bog.  Laphroaig has done something different here.  In order to replicate whisky distillation and maturation from the days of old, the craftsmen at Laphroaig have finished this whisky in smaller casks to allow greater wood/whisky contact.  The Quarter Cask is aged to about 5 years in bourbon casks before the transfer.

The QC is the ultimate in successful whisky experiment and innovation.  There is simply nothing to rival this.

As you’d expect nothing less from Laphroaig, this is a bottle full of smoke.  Heavy peat, yet smooth beyond its age.  Seems a little raw around the edges as it lacks that certain sweetness you find in some some of the other Islays.  Big fat arrival…long development…finish that lingers almost as long as the beautiful aroma.

This is all smoke (no mirrors, thankfully).  The real deal.  Heavy and lingering.  Massive arrival that develops into something with a bit of heat and…I know, I know…dirt.  Very earthy.  I think I’m getting a touch of anise in there as well.  Typical young peat citric notes are a little buried (surprisingly) by smoke, but present nevertheless.

Definitely a winter whisky, but one that will have you thinking of summer bonfires.  Very raw and overpowering…in a good way.  I can promise you that the smell of this whisky will still be blanketing the room long after your glass is empty.

At ~$50 a bottle, and a brilliant bottling at 48% abv, this is definitely one to snag a couple bottles of if the opportunity presents itself.  One helluva Christmas gift idea too.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

14 thoughts on “Laphroaig Quarter Cask Review

  1. Robert

    I’m going back and finishing off bottles that have been open a while and are less than 1/3 full. This is one I’m really enjoying the chore of drinking. A little bit of water really opens this up. Creamy, briny, spicy and delicious. Just a notch below the CS, but slightly cheaper.

  2. david

    I’m envious….I’m trying to finish off some old bottles before opening new ones (one of the ones I want to open is the QC), but it’s tough because most of the bottles I still have open are unfinished because I wasn’t as impressed with them as the others…Dalwhinnie, an long-opened Aberlour 18 that lost something, and an A’Bunadh batch 38…. so I mixed those three together (a la Ralfy), let them sit together for couple of weeks, and the result was more drinkable than the individuals…my first blended malt! Maybe I should have added some Forty Creek Port Cask reserve for added interest?

    Unfortunatley I read a lot about whisky but drink very little. At 1-2 drams a week tops when I’m healthy, unless I can convince some people to come over, it will be years before I can get to some of the bottles I really want to try.

    I have some miniatures that I think I’ll open next. A range of Bowmores, and some others. It’s easier to get a broader variety that way.

    Or we could start “the Dram Initiative – Toronto” …

        1. Jeff

          I think I’m a little too far outside the GTA to participate, but I wish you all the best and I’m sure there are enough enthusiasts to pull it off if you can find them. Spirit of Toronto on May 11 would be a great place to recruit or to find an existing club.

          1. David

            Looked at the website. Looks like Ralfy may be making an appearance!

            If only Bladnoch were coming too!

          2. Maestro

            May 11th! No! I’ll be out of the country (in London) on business.

            Just so happens to be my birthday, too. Would have been a great present.

  3. David

    if you’re going to be in London, May I suggest you go online to the whiskyexchange and order a bottle of Bladnoch (11 YO nw available) sherry cask at 55% (sometimes there is a cask strength 10 YO available at about 57%) and have it sent to where you’re staying, along with other miniatures that aren’t available over here. You will NOT be disappointed.

    If you plan early enough, you can probably get an order from Bladnoch directly and ask them for just enough 50 cc bottles so you can try a couple there and come home with 1.1L

  4. Andrew Buchner

    Superstore in Alberta had this on sale for $34(In Canada!) about a month ago; quite possibly the best value for money I’ve ever seen in whisky. People were buying it by the case, and why not at that price?

  5. Skeptic

    Wow, that’s half what the KGBO (oops, LCBO) charges in Ontario! Of course you do have to add 5% GST…

  6. Andrew Buchner

    And $0.10 for bottle cost. Still, $35.79 Cdn for any single malt that doesn’t taste like gasoline (Here’s looking at you McClelland’s) is an impossible deal, let alone for a fantastic one like QC.

  7. David

    Came back to this one after a LONG time, as the last of the following very successful introductory flight I shared with a friend:

    1. FC Heart of Gold

    2. Booker’s bourbon

    3. HP 12

    4. Bladnoch 11 YO sheep’s label (sherry matured at 55%)

    5. Laphroaig QC

    Somehow I always think of the heavily-peated ones as harsh between tastings, but certainly in this case nothing could be further from the truth. I have about 4-5 drams left, and I think this is one that’s going to need replacing.

  8. Robert

    Happy/ ecstatic/sad/ambivalent after watching Portugal v US. Great match to watch, like many of the other matches, but somewhat depressing at the end. Consoled myself with a dram of Buchanan 18 then finished the last three drams of Laphroaig QC. I’m in a better mood now (Dutch courage!) and look forward to facing Deutchland. QC is really a very good whisky with a bit of water, that can make everything better, like a mothers hug. Hope they find a bottle at their hotel bar!


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