During the 19th century, small casks of around 40 to 50 litres were used to transport whisky on horseback. These small casks are known as Quarter Casks because they are one quarter of the size of an American standard barrel.

As quarter casks have a significantly higher ratio of wood-to-liquid than most standard casks, they tend to accelerate the maturation process –¬†absolutely spiffing! For our April whisky of the month, Tattersalls is smoking up the Laphroaig¬†Quarter Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky, where the casks are left to rest in the warehouse just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Shore.

Colour: Yellow-tinted melted gold, certainly caramel colouring.
Nose: Honey suckle and brine. A very pleasant and sweet smoke.
Palate: Taste of orchard fruits straight away with burnt vanilla, imagine having a creme brulee in front of a bonfire.
Water: Softer than their flagship 10 year old which is surprising, considering the accelerated maturation.
Finish: Extra long, still creamy but with a lingering spice and bellowing smoke. A beautiful marriage of peat and fruit.

According to the Laphroaig distillery manager, the quarter casks had to be made from downsized refill sherry butts, it’s been bedlam! But the beauty of this whisky is that you do not get much of the sherry flavour at all in the taste, but the oak sure does add maturity to this dram.