Which Laphroaig to buy – 10yr or the Quarter Cask?

This is a comparison I’ve wanted to make for a long time now. I first tasted the Quarter Cask at a Whisky Tasting, and at the time I said:

“Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to the “Deep thought maker”… Yes, with its understated label, and it’s plain green bottle, this whisky is a maker of kings, revolutionaries, and  warrior poets.”

I will probably always be a fan.

A few months later I had the privilege of going to Grootbos with my wife. At the end of a terrific day, and a great meal, I “settled for” a glass of the 10yr old because they didn’t have the Quarter Cask. I loved it.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure then if it was better than the Quarter Cask, after all the QC is more expensive, and it’s hard to tell unless you can sit down with both.

So the question is: Which Laphroaig to buy – the 10yr or the Quarter Cask?

So I sat down with both to find out.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

The QC has a higher alcohol content than the 10yr so it can be a bit jarring. The QC has a smokey toffee caramel nose, compared to a more seaweedy nose from the 10yr, which I preferred to let linger – I’d be tempted to wear that as a cologne if either didn’t have a fairly strong antiseptic scent to them.

Laphroaig 10 year old

Both are quite full bodied, and peaty. I found the 10yr to be slightly sweeter, and the QC a little more spicy. With a little water, the QC seemed to sweeten, and there’s almost a saltiness to it.

All in all, I would say that both are worth having, but for different reasons: The 10yr is easier to drink, more often, compared to the QC that demands that you take it a little more seriously.  Either way, if you like a whisky that’s full of peat and a bit of the sea, then you can’t really go wrong regardless of which you choose.

10yr Tasting Notes:

Quarter Cask Tasting Notes:

A special thanks to Michael Everson for sharing some of his 10yr!

I hope you try this out and let me know what you think – as always comments are welcomed and encouraged. Enjoy!

(Note: I am not affiliated with Laphroaig. These thoughts are my own.)