Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Distiller
ABV: 40%
Score: 89 points

Laphroaig QA Cask. Image courtesy Laphroaig. This is a double-matured Laphroaig, starting off with the usual initial maturation in ex-Maker’s Mark Bourbon casks, followed by time in virgin charred American Oak casks — thus, the QA designation (Quercus Alba) based on the wood.

Initially available only in the travel retail market, the nose has the classic Laphroaig peat smoke notes with vanilla, heather, and honey. The taste is smoky with a lemony tartness, hints of the usual creosote and tar, along with heather, vanilla, and dark chocolate. The finish is long and smoky. (January, 2014)