The ‘Big Daddy’ of single malt whisky, Laphroaig, is launching a more accessible style in the first real innovation of the brand in decades.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask is transferred to a smaller-sized 100l cask for the final stage of maturation. This brings more of the 48% abv whisky into contact with wood, imparting a more creamy and honey-like taste than the powerfully peaty and smoky parent brand.
Targeted at 30 to 45-year-old men, Quarter Cask goes on sale in Tesco from October at an rsp of £25.99, commanding a premium of around £3 over the standard 10-year-old, which has an alcohol content of 40%.
Nick Marshall, senior brand manager, said: “Like the early days of flavour finishes, quarter cask maturation has the potential to become a whole new sub category in malt whisky. This is the first genuine new expression of Laphroaig, and we hope to increase frequency of consumption.
“The more accessible flavour will help to recruit people who might find the 10-year-old a bit too oppressive.”
Marshall stressed that low production volumes of Quarter Cask meant big discounting was not an option. The brand, recently acquired by Fortune Brands which owns Jim Beam bourbon as part of the sale of Allied Domecq to Pernod Ricard, will instead support Quarter Cask with trade PR this year, encouraging its use in cocktails, and newspaper ads next year.
Claire Hu