In a nutshell: A complex subtly sweet and peaty Islay single malt aged in ex-Bourbon casks.
The lowdown: The secret to Laphroaig's Quarter Cask is that after ageing for around five years in standard sized ex-Bourbon casks it's transferred to quarter size cask to complete its maturation. This allows increased contact with the oak and creates a soft and velvety edge to complement the distinctive peatiness. On the nose the sensation is toffee and caramel from the vanillas and tannins of the American oak, plus a dryness from the wood oil. This is followed by a really long, smoky and spicy finish.
Laphroaig, which sits on the southern coast of the famous whisky producing island of Islay among a clutch of other famous distilleries, was founded in 1815 by brothers Donald and Alexander Johnston. In 1847 Donald was tragically killed after falling into a vat of boiling pot ale. The business, however, continued n family hands until as late as the 1960s since when it's passed through various hands wityh the last change taking place in 2014 when it became part of the Suntory empire alnog with fellow Islay distillery Bowmore. They are one of the few remaining Scottish distilleries that malt their own barley on their own malting floors.