Laphroaig Islay single malt Scotch whisky; Quarter cask; Double cask-matured; non chill filtered; 48%

Why did I choose to buy this whisky? There are many answers to this question, so let me lay you down to them. Perhaps the main answer to give, would be that with us entering the depths of the Aki Sumo basho and finding myself complimenting my good fellow de Gama by being beholden upon a Cohibo siglo tres, I naturally needed to make up the hat-trick adding to the sumo and stogies, a much needed smoke!  Before exploring that notion a little more, let me pray tell you another reason or two – my father chose a good time to pay a visit and perhaps most surprisingly, the quarter cask Laphroaig is by the graces of god cheaper than the Laphroaig ten year (in Akita, Japan)!

Seeming that this bottle I all about it’s quarts, I right this tribute being no less than tres quarts down the bottle. With great respects to the Aki basho (tres quart of the year), this whisky proudly compliments this time of year and the occasion. The colour resembles tres golden ray of sunlight that hits upon the bloated rice paddy, plump and all so ready for the harvest! I take a sniff of the glass, and I am reminded of the after-smoke that lingers from the fireworks that are so prominent at the end of a Japanese matsuri. A signal of the end of summer, as well as signal of the becoming of Autumn… and the Autumn basho. It is at this point, I then look to refer to the information booklet that comes with: And I quote “the Quarter Cask takes its name from the days (about 200 years ago) when people would procure a whisky in a Quarter Cask to avoid the custom (tax) officials”. It is also for this reason that the Quarter Cask proudly displays that it is “By appointment to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales” – A well known conservative of the tres great realms of the United Kingdom. The 48% strength is required for its adherence to the “greater authenticity” of the time period whence it came – nigh the birth of the Union. I take another hardy swill and reflect upon my findings.

The quarter cask here breaks its tres tradition – with one (I would argue, if you are nay so keen upon a watery development), and depending on level of substance, no more than two rocks. Note, not tres – Though if you may kindly allow me to add, by no means a disappointing find. This will give the quarter cask its greatest depth of flavour. The peat, malts and smoky taste is strong by all means, for sure worthy of Islay malts. At first, the strength of the whiskey will hit you at the back of the throat, more akin to the likes of a bourbon for chance. Yet, in a surprising and revealing way, the smoky, with a hint of coconut dare I say, flavour that lingers upon the palette is most welcome. It is as if those golden rays of sunshine have left you with a sun tan and a warmth that will endure the coming of winter. Blessed be.

L. Bertrum

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