I’m always a little suspicious of so called “travel exclusives” sold in Duty Free. Especially those being pushed by certain well known purveyors of Malt Whisky. With no age statements you’re never quite sure what’s in the bottle.
None the less I’ve been impressed by the recent offerings from Laphroaig, one of my two favourite makers from Islay where the peaty water lends a smokey flavour to a dram.
Having sampled the PX bottling with its first maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks I was recently gifted a bottle of the QA. QA stands for Quercus Alba which translates into American oak. The first maturation starts with ex-bourbon barrels followed by a period spent in charred American white oak casks.
It’s the second maturation which gives the whisky a mix of peat and spicy vanilla notes. A lingering sweetness finishes with some interesting soft woodiness.
Whilst not as impressive as the aforementioned PX, the QA is a worthy addition to the Laphroaig line up and is certainly worth it’s $85 asking price.