Island of Islay Laphroaig Distillery Scotland

Laphroaig Càirdeas 2020 Port & Wine Casks

Review of the Laphroaig bottling for 2020 Fèis Ìle.

Provenance: Islay (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 52%ABV
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Ruby Port 2nd Fill and ex-Red Wine
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Suntory
Average price: € 76.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Vote: 88/100

After trying the 2010 one, a nice ten-year leap forward to last year’s Càirdeas.
With the slogan ‘two reds are better than one’ (d’oh), the whisky that celebrates friendship is born from the union of whiskies that have spent a double maturation in Bourbon with whiskies matured in second-fill Ruby Port barrels, combined to age in ex-Red Wine casks.
As always, a NAS, which is rumoured to have spent five years in the initial two casks and three of finishing.

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.

Dark amber in the glass.
Toasted caramel (almost burnt, I’d say) and Worcester sauce greet the nose, a rather thick blanket spread over red fruits, mulled wine, candied orange, chocolate, liquorice, mint toffee, thyme. The mixture of seawater and disinfectant that we all love also emerges, a little undertone.
The mentholated and fresh aspect is unusually active at the mouth, evident a moment before a flurry of pepper and ginger on toasted pine cones arrives to cover it. As crisp as a Spring morning at the marina, it brings along a jam tart (orange, but also berry), vanilla cream, dried fruit, tobacco and more chocolate. Liquorice in profusion. Medicinal afflatus peeps out at length.
Long finish with hints of pepper, frost, orangeade, ash, liquorice.

The three casks do a good job as a team, creating a solid, three-dimensional whisky, with balsamic veins that help enliven an intriguing and entertaining profile, with a recognisable signature but with nuances that give it personality and depth.

Other bottlings in the blog:
Laphroaig 10yo
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 004
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 011
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 012
Laphroaig 15yo (90s Edition)
Laphroaig 18yo
Laphroaig Brodir
Laphroaig Càirdeas 2010 Master Edition
Laphroaig Càirdeas Fino Cask Finish 2018
Laphroaig Càirdeas Triple Wood 2019
Laphroaig Lore
Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Laphroaig The 1815 Legacy Edition
Laphroaig Triple Wood

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