The Laphroaig Quarter Cask has become a whisky which regularly makes it on to my whisky shelves - thanks in part to supermarkets, who insist on regularly reducing the price of this peaty Islay beauty. When I see a bottle, I find it difficult not to reach out and plonk it into the shopping trolley.
While the standard Laphroaig 10-year-old is always cheaper, this is - in my opinion - a much more full-flavoured dram and packs more of a wallop. The fact its ABV is 8% higher than their flagship brand probably has something to do with it - unless you're living in North America, where the 10 is poured into that famous green bottle at a much more respectable 43%.
But enough with the grumping. Time for some Laphroaig Quarter Cask tasting notes.
Nose: Unsurprisingly, this carries the unmistakable Laphroaig peaty, TCP character, complete with sticking plasters and the sharp smell of disinfected hospital wards. But underneath the smoking peat there's a lovely dry tobacco leaf, which intensifies with a couple of drops of water. It really is quite lovely. There's also dark treacle toffee mixed with Thornton's special toffee, honey-glazed charcoal bricks, coal smoke, mixed dried fruit, menthol and some zingy citrus notes tucked away in the back. I also occasionally get a wee bit of steamed broccoli - but perhaps that's coming from the pub next door!
Palate: A huge, smokey peat blast arrival which settles down into dark fruit: baked plums and thick blackcurrant jam. I always get black pepper in Laphroaigs, and this one is no different. There's also malty cereals, more TCP, dark cherry syrup - I'm thinking cough medicine - and a wee dab of sourness.
Finish: The first thing I get is menthol cigarettes. I used to have the occasional smoke many years ago, and that memory comes right back on the finish. There's sweet peat, some deep citrus notes, flat cola, coal smoke, cherry, parma violets - and that amazing dried tobacco note returns if you leave the dram to settle for a while. Another beauty from Laphroaig.