Last year’s Cairdeas release was an interesting one. It’s not really about the casks and finishing with this one. It was released to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the distillery, so they attempted to recreate the original style of whisky from that era. This means that they malted all of the barley in-house and used smaller stills. Unfortunately I have never tried Laphroaig from 200 years ago, although I’ll gladly accept a sample if anyone is willing to share :), so I can’t really compare.
Aged 3 years*. 51.5% ABV. No colourant added, non-chill filtered.
*Due to lack of age statement
Nose: So much Laphroaig. Mineral peat. Earth. Sea salt. Seaweed washed up on the beach. Iodine. Rubber. Cooked shellfish. Dry straw. Herbal honey. Apple sauce. Pomelo. Arnica cream.
Palate: Very earthy peat. Wet ash. Laundry soap bars. Quite medicinal. Eucalyptus oil. Orange peel. Perfect ABV, not too aggressive, not to mild. A burst of sticky rubber on the swallow.
Finish: Long. Warm. Sweet peat and honey. Some wood tannins. Freshly laid asphalt. Rubber. A few barbecue scrapings. Slight hint of toffee.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was priced a lot higher than the usual Cairdeas releases which was unfortunate. Other than that it was a very, very good whisky. Massively intense with all the lovely notes one expects in Laphroaig and some extra complexity on top of that. Quite lovely.