Well, I'd say that Laphroaig's small-cask experiment is a smashing success! There's a powerful wave of peat and iodine on the nose, and a smoky bonfire on the palate, with a nice, long finish that has a very subtle hint of Talisker-like pepper. This one's a keeper! Regardless of the overall supply situation, there's definitely no sacrifice of quality in this expression.
Next up will be some of the 10yo CS red-stripe version, to provide a benchmark for comparison. I've had it before and loved it, in any case...
Which one to buy? Both.
Next up? Hmmm. Maybe some Connemara CS, just to round out the three-peat.
I concur thoroughly with your findings....I posted similar thoughts recently under "Comparing Laphroaigs".
What impresses me so much is not just the
powerful wave of peat and iodine on the nose, and a smoky bonfire on the palate, with a nice, long finish
but the fact that it's all so beautifully balanced, integrated, smooth, and tasty. It would be easy to throw peat at a whisky and come out with a peat monster, but that doesn't guarantee that it will be a quality and enjoyable dram. Laphroaig have achieved this feat and achieved it well.
Crispy Critter wrote: I wasn't quite sure what to expect, given some rumblings about distillers sacrificing quality due to supply problems (see the Glenrothes Select Reserve thread in the Q&A forum).
Apologies if I was misunderstood on the Glenrothes thread. I didn't mean to say that some of the very young/no age statement whiskies were not good - I am sure some are very good indeed. I meant that they were created in order to overcome a supply problem rather than because distillers thought they would be an improvement over their existing range - despite what their marketing departments might say.
This also makes me think that maybe Aberlour was a bit ahead of its time when they came out with A'Bunadh. Being a no-age-statement vatting, they have quite a bit of leeway in blending together different casks (and they've done a great job at it, I must add).
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Lawrence you are a man after my own heart. I did not go so far to speak of "dud casks" when I spoke out against wine finishings, but I agree with you that some young whiskies find their way into wine barrels and are bottled NAS to prop them up. Not to say it is inferior whiky that faces that fate, but surely it is not the best out of a batch either. I see that the industry is in a dilemma. 1983 in the year of crisis it took a man with courage and visionary abilities to produce malt of quality in quantity when around him distilleries died by the dozen. How to convince the management that better times were to come - in 25 years! So today is a shortage of malts from the late 1970ies and early 1980ies, a complete peergroup of malts is missing desperately needed now to make good standard OBs. I perfectly understand the ironic situation that today there is sort of a boom in malts which might come to a aprupt end in a while because there is not enough malt of age and quality to sustain it and the quality level just has to be reduced. I will not let the industry down but I will and can not buy just anything or everything to support her.
My first reaction is : and ????
The ultimate goal is satisfaction, wether it is against competitor or themselves : I prefer the latter but in the end hope to enjoy the result !
and sofar the QS has been plenty of it !
On the other hand I have some ...profound questions ?... : why does "whisky" needs to be finished with ...."strawberry fiels ? "
No longer just sherry or oak, but côte du rhone, rum all kinds, meursault, what's next ???
Shouldn't the essential of WHISKY be respected ?
Maybe a be old fashioned, but "coca cola" could give some effect too : is ot that we are waiting for ?
P.S. "coca cola" to be replaced by "whatever"....
P.P.S. just starting - don't mean to hurt ....
I mean how long has it matured in a regular cask and how long in a quater cask?
Also are the quater casks used made from fresh wood or built from casks that have previouslu held bourbon?
Also are the two types of cask first, second or refill?
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