This was my first tasting from the whisky tasting club:
There are a few places you can get “tastings”. Master of Malt do tasting sets, just pick the set and order it. They typically charge you double the cost of the whisky and that covers their posh wax sealed 3cl bottles and P&P. They have a really good range. Flaviar want you to sign up for tastings on a regular basis – they’re really hooked into social media and you get money off for FB posting or tweeting when you buy from them, which I have a fair bit due to the deals on whisky. The Flaviar tasting sets then take some time to arrive as they take all orders before shipping but its a cool service and a great offering with whisky at serious discounts. This one from the whisky tasting club is simple but I like the format – you get 5 5cl plastic bottles in a slim box that fits through your letterbox so you don’t have to be in to receive it. I like the 5cl bottles, it gives you enough for a proper tasting and a bit to come back to another day. And the guys running it are just university lecturers who are doing it because they love it. Anyway, onto the tasting:
Laphroaig 10 year old is their standard expression, and is one of the best value for money whiskies there is.
Notes: Briny and watery, chlorine nose with phenol undercurrent. Beautiful, balanced and refreshing.
The cask strength version of the 10 year old has been revamped and is released in smaller batches.
Notes: Sweet oaky nose, peaches and sherry. Body has immediate hit of sherried fruit, then into peaty smoke. Much better balanced with water, very satisfying.
Quarter Cask is partly matured in casks one quarter the size of normal casks. The nature of maturation in the quarter cask is such that it gives the whisky a depth and concentration of flavours in a shorter period of time, making for a much mightier malt than the distillery's standard 10 year old. While there's nothing at all wrong with the latter, many Laphroaig fans believe that the Quarter Cask is a return to the distillery's glory days, when they say the whisky was more powerful. Quarter Cask is made up of whisky aged 5-8 years.
Notes: Sweet.grappa like nose with a hint of peat. Rolling, briny, fruit bony with immense finish. Smokey and buttery.
A triple matured whisky which has its first maturation in American oak the second in quarter casks and the final maturation is in Oloroso sherry casks. Laphroaig's owners are intent on ensuring a big peaty engine for any new release, but this is a monster by anyone’s standards. It's essentially Quarter Cask finished in oloroso sherry casks. Big, moody, broody, fruity, and rich: what's not to love?
Notes: Peaches and malt on the nose. Long sherry body rolling into well balanced peat.
In 2009 Laphroaig replaced their 15 year old expression with this new 18 year old, a category winner at the 2010 World Whisky Awards.
Notes: Sweet, medicinal nose. Big peaty body, well structured and very long finish – although on reflection slightly one dimensional.
My favourite (and the bottle I bought a full 70cl of) was the quarter cask. What an amazing bottle of whisky and at about £30 a bottle, very good value.