Monday, July 1, 2013

Laphroaig QA Cask hands out an easy experience

Like a sunny and warm summer day. You swim in a lake, that has pleasant and clear waters. Occasional cold stream refreshes your feet and you dive deep to feel it more. There are dragonflies catching their prey, a duck and it’s eight ducklings swimming near a shore. Seldom clouds, but no fear of changing weather. It feels like a vacation, on which I am right now. But occasionally, there is a need to get back to the laptop and tell about a whisky, that suits the day.


Laphroag QA had evaded me for a while, and I accidentally found this on a ferry – this is a travel retail exclusive bottling. The tube inlays “a second maturation in fresh, un-charred American white oak (Quercus Alba) casks. “. QA stands, as you might now guess, for Quercus Alba. But this would be a perfect gift, because of it’s name, for Quality Assurance team night.

The nose contains the Laphroaig family characteristics. There is the fenol medical part, which has made Laphroaig very famous – liked or not. Some smoke, some sweetness. This is the cold stream in the lake, there is more body and character. There is the nasty temper, you want to wake up with control.

The first sip is both a strong and pale. There is (now that the bottle has been couple of weeks open..) Laphroaig medicine taste with some smoke. Then there is sweetness and spiciness too. But in the middle it feels a bit like you’ve taste the lake water or accidentally poured water into your Glencairn instead of Aalto (water glass).. At the end the strong protagonist returns and saves the day, after a gloomy dark cloud of water that poured it’s weak performance on QA.

The taste does not linger too long, but there is some to chatter about.

QA is an interesting package. At first, I was not impressed at all. It felt too watered. Later on, when the bottle gained some air and my tongue got more used to it… there was a positive change. Now I feel, it is  complex, yes, and it is Laphroaig. It does not take you to the Northern fury, but instead to blue lakes of warm waters and pleasant experiences. It is a nice Uisge Beatha to experience, easy and cleanly flavored. You don’t have to be the pro to understand and value this one, but even with years of tasting – it does give you something to think about. It does not break records, it does not stand on a high cliff alone and scream about ruling the world. But it does well with a group, or with some campfire. It is a great member of it’s team in a tasting. And would be a nice gift for anyone who is interested of Islay drams.


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