Reviewed on Sat 16 Jan, 2016
The new oak dominates everything in this travel retail exclusive bottling. One for Laphroaig fans only.
First of all let's get the whole "QA" cask thing out of the way - QA simply means Quercus Alba, or American Oak barrels for those of us less versed in Latin. This is a 1L travel retail exclusive bottling and is double matured, first in ex-bourbon casks and then again in new American oak casks.
On the nose: Peat and vanilla hits you square in the face, like all of Laphroaig's offerings generally tend to. There's some whisky fudge in there somewhere. You can certainly tell that this has been finished in much smaller oak casks than is normal because the woody influence is very telling on the nose. It really does dominate all the other scents.
The taste: Peppers, vanilla, significant peat and smoke. Salty chilli flakes.
The finish: The finish is so-so, medium long with plenty of tobasco, peppers and a lot of oak again tailing out the ending.
Personally... I'm not really the biggest fan of these peat-bomb whiskies, I guess just like sherried malts these are most a marmite affair. You love it, or you hate it. This QA Cask release just seems a bit middling to me, it's neither an enourmous peat bomb nor does it really blend the softer flavours together very well. The new oak scent and taste dominates everything and ruins whatever subtely may have been there originally. One for Laphroaig fans only.
Personal Rating: 73/100
Value for Money: 75/100
Overall Rating: 76.4/100