Saturday, June 15, 2024

Laphroaig Cairdeas White Port and Madeira Casks Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

- $100
- 104.6 Proof
- Islay

Laphroaig's annual Cairdeas release has certainly become something I look forward to each year, and even more so when I find out the release is going to be some sort of wine finish. In the past I've found such releases to be absolutely phenomenal!  Yet, this one wasn't really on my radar.  In fact, the first I had seen it was when I was out of town checking out a random liquor store, and there it was on the shelf, making me wonder how I had missed information on this release.

While the bottle didn't come home with me on that trip, I was sure to secure a bottle soon thereafter, and I was fairly quick to open this one.  I kind of knew what I was going to get from the Madeira cask, but I really wasn't sure what to expect from the white port cask. I only assumed it would have a different profile from other peated port matured Scotches I've had in the past.

The nose was not as prominent with the wine notes as I had expected.  I've gotten so used to getting an aroma full of dark fruits and smoked meats from similar bottlings, but that was not to be found here. The peat was certainly present, but the wine influence was a bit light. There was perhaps a hint of raspberry, but otherwise, it was primarily notes of campfire and bready notes.

Luckily, the flavor brought more to the table than the nose did. There I got that great combination of sweet and peat that I love. The flavor came across as more of a raspberry jam note, along with a nice blackberry note. While sweet, it also had that bite of bitterness to it to keep it from being too sweet. It did not come across as a port or Madeira "bomb" by any stretch, but the influence, even if a bit more subtle, was delicious.

Of course I got a great smokey note, which at first was like the campfire note I was getting on the nose. But as I made my way through this bottle, it developed more of that smoked barbecue note that I love in a good wine-finished Islay Scotch. It was like a nice plate of sweet and savory barbecue ribs. 

But, there was another note that weirdly enough seemed to go right along with everything else -- pancakes.  I'm not sure if I've ever gotten pancakes as a tasting note, I'd have to check, but it was certainly there in this bottle, lurking in the background, and particularly noticeable on the finish.

While I wouldn't put this as my favorite Cairdeas release, it was, not surprisingly, still absolutely delicious. This was a bottle that went much faster than I intended, which is always a good measure.

Grade: B+

No comments:

Post a Comment