So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino 2018 vs Laphroaig 200th Anniversary Cairdeas 2015

Laphroaig’s Cairdeas bottles are an annual release made only to the Friends of Laphroaig – easy enough to sign up, and though they do come in significant batch sizes, they are finite. I do believe they’ve done a good job in differentiating each year’s edition and making them as interesting to the experienced Laphroaig fan as possible. Two recent editions that stood out were the 2018 edition – matured in first fill bourbon barrels then reracked into Fino casks, and the 2015 200th Anniversary Edition, distilled only from the old stills – the small ones prior to the addition of the large stills.

Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino 2018 51.8%

 Nose: It’s actually firstly a sweet nose with baked flan and browned shortcrust, not a monster at all. Frangipane and glazed apricots are quickly followed by the customary iodine shot, and then we are back on the smoky meats and honey glazes charring in the peat fuelled blaze. White ash and caramelizing sugar sit side by side in one of the sweetest Laphroaigs I’ve nosed to date. Alas neither very complex nor maritime by my reckoning.

 Palate: Strangely enough, somewhat overwrought acridness and ash on the palate then the sweetness flows in, burnt tarts and syrups, charred pans, now that in turn recedes and the smoke, peatfire and brine rolls in. Chewy and weighty but somewhat disjointed.

 Finish: Ash, acrid smoke, bit of seawater too, with some lingering buttery-ness.


Laphroaig 200th Anniversary Cairdeas 2015 51.5%

 Nose: Much less sweet and with a dialled back pungency, it’s much more green with morning mist moist earth and a dewy mintyness. A vetiver like quality. Preserved green olives. Wet branches, wet peat and an insistent but gentle smoky medicinal tang. Chopped fresh seaweed. Far from over the top, and I find the balance from the drop in volume enthralling, though pure peatheads may not be so enamoured.

 Palate: More soiled-green than ashy. Yes murky muddy greens, fresh turned mud, dew on woody shrubs, strike of metal on flints. A reedy boggy-ness then smoke and white ash make a discreet return, and don’t miss the droning of an ever present but deliciously understated seaweed tang. Patchouli maybe? I tend to get that in musky perfumes.

 Finish: Long, great understated balance between the iodine, smoke and earth. I can see why someone who glories in a pungent Laphroaig might be thrown off by this, but I like this elegant style very much.

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This entry was posted on September 6, 2018 by in Laphroaig and tagged , .
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