In 2011 Laphoaig made the bold step to release its Cairdeas limited release whisky to the public. Previously held back as a private bottling for the Friends of Laphroaig, Cairdeas (“car-chass”) is an annual release that differs each year. Last year we were fortunate enough to try a very young version of Cairdeas with Laphroaig Master Distiller John Campbell.
This year, Laphroaig Cairdeas Origin is crafted with whisky from the first Laphroaig Cairdeas barrel, the total vatting including whiskys ranging from 13 to 21 years old. These old Cairdeas whiskys are blended with a younger spirit, which has spent seven years in quarter casks. The two spirits are blended in equal proportions.
It’s a complex bottling, but not that difficult to process as a whisky. If you know Islay, you know what you’re in for here: Heavy peat that’s been mellowed by years of sea air. It’s a fun whisky, very mild despite the cask strength. Lots of orange, lemon, and fresh apples (commonly listed in tasting notes but something you can actually taste for real in Cairdeas Origin). Of course, that’s all tempered by smoke, but it’s calmed down considerably. The smokiness is pleasant and sweet, and very warming on the finish. On the whole it’s a really lovely expression of Islay.
102.4 proof. 3000 bottles allocated for U.S.
A- / $75 / laphroaig.com