It’s my favorite Islay distillery day at Feis Ile – Laphroaig distillery. Despite some recent disappointing (or even bad) releases from Laphroaig, there are still some good official releases. Let’s go back one year and review one of them, the 2016 Cairdeas that was matured in bourbon barrels and then finished in Madeira casks.
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 Madeira Cask (51.6%, $79.99)
Nose: At my first tasting of this whisky I thought it wasn’t quite well with disharmony between the peat and the fruitiness of the Madeira cask but a few weeks later it’s better with gentle peat, red grapes and red berries, a bit of zest (orange peels?) and malt. With a few drops of water sharper smoke on the front. Smoke is the star with red berries fruit at backseat with touch of peat and medicinal notes but the water kind of transform it into a very one dimensional whisky.
Palate: Peat, sour berries, wine tannins, ashes and bonfire smoke, sour raspberries juice, hard candies (forest berries flavour).
Finish: Medium-long length, lingering sour candies, maltiness and peat smoke.
Thoughts: It didn’t swim well for me and it was way way better when tasted neat bringing a good combo of peat and semi-sour red fruitiness. Personally, I still prefer the previous year Cairdeas (2015) over this one but I think the Madeira cask Cairdeas is an improvement on the 2014 edition. Now, all that’s left is to wait for having an in-depth date with the 2017 edition. Slainte!