Originally a Travel Retail exclusive, Laphroaig QA cask is initially matured in bourbon barrels before being finished in charred American white oak casks. The result is a peaty, warming and spicy whisky.
Right away I get a strong, fresh peat with a bit of phenolic that reminds me of being at the beach down the shoreline of Ocean city. There is a light vanilla floating in the background with a hint of what the distillers label ‘musty’ fruit (orchard). The musty fruit reminds me of grilled apple peaches and ripe blackberries mixed with a wood fire. The aromas also include citrus, nutmeg, and cinnamon complex fill the nose throughout the experience.
The palate opens up with a nice spice and sweet fruit that has some charred citrus along with the nuttiness of toasted almonds. The spice is not spicy but it is very warming, minty, with some cinnamon and some vanilla. There is a good amount of smoke and the slightly smoky peat has a slight saltiness to it. Nice!
The finish is very long-lasting with a great balance between peat smoke, oak vanilla, and a very slight minty hint of phenolic.
My favorite peaty scotch
Best served neat or with a few drops of water, although I don’t mind it with a few drops of water. However I don’t recommend adding any ice since the drink gets diluted and overpowers the more subtle tasting notes.
Think open fire pit on a cool summer’s day; drinking a grate whiskey while the waves wash to shore and your feet are in the sand.
While I knew Laphroaig was a peaty scotch my first experience drinking the Qa was nothing like what I was expecting. I feel the Qa is more phenolic (something I normally don’t like) and that is what really shined through on this drink.