So, a bit of a cool down after that Ailsa Bay. Anything cask strength would still be a cool down, more or less.
I heard someone talk about this whisky on WhiskyCast a couple of months ago, and saying that the 51.5% ABV was intentional so it ended on 15 (the year, you know). I found that ridiculously far fetched, but marketing people come up with crazy stuff nowadays. Remember Macallan marketing that some casks that went in to a whisky were not going to be reused again? How is that of any significance?
Anyway, this year’s Cairdeas bottling. Apparently Ewald used his contacts to get his hands on the Feis Ile bottling of Laphroaig this year. Always interesting to taste this, even though they haven’t been all that good the last couple of years. The low point was that pink port cask of a few years ago.
Rather peaty, with lemon and shammy leather. There’s a light sense of spiciness although I find it hard to indicate what or how. Sweet and syrupy.
The palate is quite light, but a tad sharp. Not as smoky as on the nose. Sweet, with heather, vanilla creme and straw.
The finish is nice and rich with lemon curd, pastry cream. Not a lot of oak happening in this dram. Quite long with straw and heather.
I was convinced this had to be a Kilchoman. It ticked all the boxes I have for that distillery. I focused on that from the first sniff, so I never even considered another Islay distillery. With the lemon and lemon curd happening I think I should have, since they’re indicators of Laphroaig.
The age was indicated by John Campbell in the Laphroaig Live video, and is nowhere on the label. Point-wise that’s a bummer, but at least I got some today! 30 points (20 for the region and 10 for the age, my guess was 8yo).
The whisky is nice enough but I think Laphroaig needs a bit more age to it. Of course that would make it a lot more expensive, but the older versions are beautiful. And while this was a very nice dram, it’s not one I regret skipping.
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015, 11yo, 200th Anniversary, 51.5%