Each year, Laphroaig Distillery Manager, John Campbell, crafts a limited edition malt to celebrate friendship (“Cairdeas” in Gaelic). For several years, Friends of Laphroaig
have been yearning for a Cask Strength version of the popular Laphroaig Quarter Cask expression, which offers an irresistible doubling of flavor, due to the double maturation in two American oak barrels. This year, that dream becomes a reality with Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask.
The 2017 bottling of Cairdeas features different ages of Laphroaig matured for more than five years in first-fill bourbon casks, then laid to rest for a second time in smaller quarter casks. After six months of further maturation, the liquid from 177 of the casks was bottled at Cask Strength — no color added, no chilling and a simple barrier filtration.
This year’s Cairdeas has a palate pleasing sweet vanilla dryness that develops into a creamy, oily mouth feel with bitter licorice root and a throat full of smoke, and a finish that is long and creamy and smoky. The nose is this gentle coffee cream and freshly sliced vanilla pods, building into sweet mint with notes of old hay and a background of
beach bonfire then freshly sanded wood and an ABV of 57.2%.
The Cairdeas bottling is limited, so when you find the rarity itself, be sure to add it to your order.
Laphroaig literally means “the beautiful hollow by the broad bay.” Born from the streams and blue peat smoke of Islay, Laphroaig is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky with a distinct taste and story in every bottle. The secret to Laphroaig is that it benefits from the
happy circumstances of where it is produced—next to ocean water and on land that gives Laphroaig a unique peaty taste. It is one of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns.
It’s also the only Single Malt Scotch Whisky to bear a Royal Warrant bestowed by Prince Charles.