Friday, November 11, 2022

Laphroaig Cairdeas Islay Single Malt Scotch Finished in Pedro Ximenez Casks

- $90
- 117.8 Proof
- 2021 Edition
- Islay

I have really grown to love the Cairdeas releases from Laphroaig. Quite frankly it started with the 2020 release finished in port & wine casks. I absolutely fell in love with that bottle, and since then I've not only grabbed each subsequent release, but I've also grabbed older releases whenever I've happened across them.

This one, however, was the one that got me the most excited. I absolutely love that combination of sweet and peat, so any Islay single malts matured in any kind of sherry or port casks immediately pique my interest.  Throw in that it's cask strength and I knew this was going to be really good before ever tasting a drop.

On the nose the peat smoke is very up front and in your face, like a dying campfire. I also got a great big fat note of rich dark fruit, like blackberry and currant. Even the aroma on this whisky was jammy. It also had a black pepper spice to it that kind of tickled my nostrils as I inhaled.

Of course, the flavor was much the same. This was a big and bold whisky.  The peat smoke was big and bold, kind of like a campfire barbecue in a glass.  The rich, dark fruit notes were also big and bold. It was as though I took a big swallow of black raspberry and black currant jelly, swished it around in my mouth, and then took a sip of a heavily peated scotch. 

While the peat took a strong hold up front, this whisky finished sweet and peppery and funky (in a good way).  I'm not sure how to describe that funk, other than that it added a dusty and cheesy note at the end.

While at first the peat seemed to take center stage, in the last few pours the sherry notes really seemed to come forward, making it more sweet than smoky. In fact, once I got to about four pours left, this became my after-dinner dessert with regularity until it was gone.  This bottle was absolutely everything I wanted it to be!

Grade: A

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