This is 2014’s Cairdeas release. It’s schtick is that it was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and then finished in amontillado sherry casks. Amontillado sits in between fino (light) and oloroso (dark) sherry. This is bottled at high ABV for massive flavour delivery. According to the marketing materials this is aged a little under 10 years, but nothing on the bottle sadly.
Aged 3 years*. 51.4%ABV. Matured in first-fill bourbon casks and finished in amontillado sherry casks. No colourant added, non-chill filtered.
*For lack of age statement
Nose: Signature Laphroaig medicinal and mineral peat notes, but toned down somewhat and sweeter. A gunpowdery sherry note is also lingering and compliments this very nicely. Vanilla pods. The spray when peeling a clementine. Bitter cacao. Salt. Rubber. Wet hot tiles, like the kind around the pool on a hot day. Treated thatched roof.
Palate: Fresh citrus zest burst, leading into sweet earthy peat, then mineral salts. Thatched roof. Spicy nut notes.
Finish: Long. Gloriously peaty. More citrus, particularly clementines and a bit of grapefruit. Ginger snaps. More rusty metal.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
VFM: 4/5 (at original retail price, being flipped for crazy amounts now)
There is definitely some younger spirit in here, and young Islays are always a treat. I really liked how the peat was still very much there, but toned down just enough to let some of the bourbon and sherry notes from the casks come through. The notes flowed beautifully into one another. It’s a deliciously interesting dram.