Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon First Fill
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 325.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Exactly ten years ago, on the occasion of the Fèis Ìle in 2011, as has become tradition, this special edition of Laphroaig was released, in the Càirdeas series, distributed in just 6,000 bottles for all the friends of the distillery.
The name, Ileach (inhabitant of Islay), is a tribute to John Campbell, the first native of the island to be head of Laphroaig from 2006, and designates this edition without finishing (as was originally used in the series) aged eight years in ex-Maker’s Mark casks, probably not at cask strength.
As always, here’s 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.;
021 Pedro Ximénez Casks – ex-Bourbon, ex-quarter cask and ex-Sherry PX, cask strength at 58.9%ABV.
Light gold in the glass.
A fisherman’s hut on the ocean shore, a crackling fireplace on a spring evening where herring are roasting: evocations that arise as you approach the nose. But there isn’t only smoke (and fish), there are also fruits (pineapple, apricots, pears), anise, nutmeg, liquorice root, a persistent herbaceous accent in the background. Slight mentholated touch and a distant medicinal impression. Complex and layered.
It starts off unexpectedly light in the mouth, with an intense sprinkling of pepper and ginger, but soon grows in substance with the herbaceous and salty peat taking the stage, accompanied by liquorice, cloves, orange peel, lemon drop, aniseed. Fruit ends up in the background, almost muted in a hint of pears and dried apricots. The soot cloaks the flavours, without covering them, letting them cover the palate.
The finish is quite long, with wet, coastal peat dominating, with spices, liquorice, ash and orange.
Complex, rich, layered, despite its young age it expresses a remarkable and decisive personality, extracting all the intensity from the cask in a perfect marriage with the distillate. Barely ten years old have passed and already it seems like a Laphroaig from another era.