The Bottle: Laphroaig Quarter Cask Single Malt Scotch

As a man, it’s your job to do some things women don’t like. One of those things is drinking single malt Scotch whisky. It smells like garbage and tastes like fire. But with a little time and a lot of drinking, you’ll appreciate the subtle flavors of the most masculine drink on the shelf.

Produced on Islay (eye-luh), an island off the West coast of Scotland, Laphroaig (la-FROYG) is known for its bold, heavily peat-smoke-flavored whiskies. The distillery sits on Islay’s southern coast, allowing the briny sea air to flavor the aging whisky. Laphroaig Quarter Cask is aged five years in regular barrels, followed by a year in smaller ‘quarter casks,’ which gives the whisky 30-percent more contact with the wood, greatly enhancing its flavor in a short amount of time.

Though more moderately peated than its 10-year-old brothers, Quarter Cask has a velvety vanilla aroma, deep, slightly sweet, full-bodied flavor, with a pleasantly smoky finish. While some Scotch drinkers get douchey about “proper” ways to drink single malts, I believe discovering what you like best is most important. That said, I wouldn’t mix Quarter Cask with anything other than water, seltzer or ice. Adding anything sweet will taste like ass, while killing the flavor and complexity of the whisky – you might as well save money, and grab a Jack and Coke.

I highly recommend drinking Quarter Cask neat (straight-up), or with a few drops of water, which will open up the flavor of the alcohol. If you’re new to single malt Scotches (or just a wuss), try adding 40-50-percent water to cut down some of the intensity while maintaining the flavor. And don’t expect any make-out sessions with your girl, afterwards.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask Notes:

Age/Alcohol content: Six-year-old, 48% alc./vol.

Smells like: Hints of peat, vanilla and coconut

Tastes like: Creamy and deep, with moderate peatyness, and a long, smoky finish

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