Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex Bourbon Hogshead
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 450.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Let’s take a step back in time, to the Fèis Ìle of 2010 and one of the very first editions of Càirdeas, made by the then Master Distiller Robert Hicks by blending distillates between 15 and 19 years old.
Cask strength, all natural… almost touching!
As always, I’ll give you the full list of the series:
2008 Càirdeas – ex-Sherry, 55%ABV;
2009 Feis Ila – ex-Bourbon, 57.5%ABV;
2010 Master Edition – ex-Bourbon Hogsheads, 57.3%ABV;
2011 Ileach – ex-bourbon, 50.5%ABV;
2012 Origin – ex-Quarter Casks and ex-Bourbon Refill Casks, 51.2%ABV;
2013 Port Wood Edition – ex-Bourbon finished in ex-Port barrels, 51.3%ABV;
2014 Bottled 2014 – ex-Bourbon First Fill finished in ex-Sherry Amontillado Hogsheads, 51.4%,ABV;
2015 200th Anniversary Edition – ex-Bourbon, 51.5%ABV (special edition for the bicentennial);
2016 Madeira Cask – ex-Bourbon finished in ex-Madeira Hogsheads, 51.6%ABV;
2017 Cask Strength Quarter Cask – ex-Bourbon First Fill from Maker’s Mark finished in Quarter Casks ex-Bourbon, 57.2%ABV;
2018 Fino Cask Finish – ex-Bourbon First Fill finished in ex-Sherry Fino, 51.8%ABV;
2019 Triple Wood – ex-Bourbon, Quarter Cask and finished in ex-Oloroso Sherry, 59.5%ABV;
2020 Port & Wine Casks – ex-Bourbon, ex-Ruby Port and ex-Red Wine, 52%ABV;
2021 Pedro Ximénez Casks – ex-Bourbon, ex-quarter cask and ex-Sherry PX, cask strength at 58.9%ABV.
Light gold in the glass.
Medicinal and coastal alternate on the nose, with the smokiness of the peat acting as a glue between the two souls, while on the stands are fruity notes (pineapple, apple, peach), honey, lemon drops, a touch of vanilla, nutmeg. Pencil shavings and a hint of gum in the background. Dry.
Peppery and ashy on the palate, with good oiliness, it is sharp and very saline with the sweeter tones subsiding in favour of substantial citric notes and a strong spice (ginger and nutmeg). Roasted almonds and liquorice.
The finish is long and dry, of used ashtray, nutmeg, lemon and lots of salt.
A whisky that leaves little room for compromise, cynical and rough like the coastal hints that characterise it so much. Perhaps for this reason it is not very balanced, but it presents the drinker with a challenge that is gladly accepted without being disappointed.