Country - Region: Scotland – Islay Distillery: Laphroaig Type: Single Malt Age: NAS Barrel: Maker's Mark Barrels and American Oak Quarter Casks ABV: 57.2% Proof: 114.4 Price: $100
Nose: A soft start with a creamy vanilla, followed by mint waxed dental floss. Later on wet vegetal peat arises with orange zest, shaved oak and sea salt. Palate: Soft start for 57.2%, but Laphroaig Cairdeas shows its power through the mid palate and the end. Sufficient pepper notes with sweet smoke developing into licorice, hay and creamy saltiness with a dry feeling. Finish: Long finish with a distinct peaty feeling. Minerality increases with sea salt and oily traces develops.
Every year, John Campbell, Laphroaig Distillery Manager creates a new whisky to celebrate the 'friendship' which he calls Laphroaig Cairdeas. This year's Cairdeas is a special one.
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017 is simply a cask strength expression of the famous Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Friends of Laphroaig, including me and thousands of others in the world, expressed their interest in a cask strength Qaurter Cask over the years and Laphroaig made it happen this year.
Whisky which was matured for at least 5 years (5 to 11 years) in first fill Maker's Mark barrels are married and matured for a further 6 months in Laphroaig's well known Quarter Casks, which have a size of 125 lt.
I have always found Laphroaig Quarter Cask a decent whisky but it lacked something. Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017 expression proved that being cask strength gave it some depth and this is what I was looking for. Also having the chance to taste this whisky with John Campbell and Simon Brooking was a total different feeling.
I am glad that I got this bottle and still sipping it while I write these lines with pleasure.