Peat. Its a wonderful natural substance that grows in the soils of Scotland as well as many places around the world. When it isn’t enriching soil, it is making a serious influence on the Isle of Islay in Scotland by heaping itself onto the fires drying out the malted barley. If you are new to scotch, this is not my recommended “first drink.” Or third, fith, etc….
You see, Laphroaig is a special whisky. It has special properties, kind of like hell has a special temperature. Peat reins supreme in this Quarter Cask offering and at 48% ABV it has a delivery mechanism courtesy of alcohol that is akin to driving a Ferrari through a small parking lot with the throttle stuck.
Although when you first pour a dram of it, it looks quite tame and ordinary as colours often do in scotch. Yet you dont’ have to get your nose all the way into the glass to know that you have something quite special, and if of the faint of heart, risky in your hands.
The extreme kick of phenols of some Islay scotch’s like this one have caused some people to refer to the nosing of such a glass as being akin to iodine or some other medicinal substance. It does have medicinal properties! More on that later.
When you nose this glass the ethanol kicks you right in the nose and says get ready, here I come. The tasting is no different. There is no all promise and no delivery in this product. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Who would drink such a thing. Well, other than native Scots, I’d say there are many around the World who really enjoy this type of whisky. My first love of Scotch was a Bowmore product, also in the Islay family yet much more of a gentleman. This Quarter Cask is a great representation of what can be done with whisky and the elements that surround Scotland.
I would try to translate the taste to you but it would fall short. This is something you have to experience and then you will see there is nothing quite like it. I drank this neat, but since it is quite complex I would recommend some water. It is not chill-filtered so is not geared toward adding ice as it will cloud up.
As for the medicinal value, tonight I had quite a sour stomach due to the excellent pot roast I made. My stomach didn’t quite agree with me though. I had a about an ounce or so of some of this whisky and within minutes, the sourness was gone.
October 24, 2012 at 10:01 am
Great stuff that Quarter Cask! Though it’s definitely intense, I find it to be a good bit tamer than the standard issue 10. Headed to a Laphroaig event tonight in Philly. Can’t wait to get a sip of this stuff!
October 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm
Have a great time!
October 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm
Thanks! It’s at the National Constitution Center, so we’ll get a VIP tour of the Prohibition exhibit and meet John Campbell and Simon Brooking too. FUN!