Island of Islay Laphroaig Distillery Scotland Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Laphroaig Càirdeas 2023 White Port & Madeira Casks

Review of the Laphroaig bottling for the 2023 Fèis Ìle.

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Strength: 52.3%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Madeira and ex-White Port
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Suntory
Average price: € 95.00
Official website: www.laphroaig.com
Vote: 84/100

Having unfortunately skipped the tastings of the last two years, here is the 2023 version of the special bottling for the ‘friends of Laphroaig’ during Fèis Ìle, which this year saw a three quarters maturationin ex-Madeira second fill casks and the last quarter matured in ex-White Port first fill casks.
This is also the first Càirdeas released under the supervision of the new master distiller, Barry MacAffer.

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;
2021 Pedro Ximénez Casks – ex-Bourbon, ex-quarter cask and ex-Sherry PX, cask strength at 58.9%ABV.
2022 Warehouse 1 – ex-Bourbon first fill, 52.2%ABV
2023 White Port & Madeira Casks – ex-Madeira second fill and ex-White Port first fill, 52.3%ABV

Tasting notes

On the nose I find myself on the side of mineral and earthy peat, steeped in more than ripe fruit with buttermilk infusions: red fruits (currant, wild strawberry), dried apricot, mango, carob, milk chocolate, sour cream. The evocations veer sharply towards an acidic sweetness that puts the smoke in the background, while on the length there are barely noticeable medicinal notes and a pungent impression of wet rocks. Youthful.
The palate begins with a marked spiciness of white pepper and ginger, over white and tropical fruit (pineapple mango, apricot, apple), tart red fruits and a generous squeeze of lemon. The smoke is rather acrid and oily, still in its agricultural form, showing woody and at times balsamic vagueness, carrying forward liquorice, chocolate and a lively mineral vein along the length.
The finish is not very long, in which the peat takes its revenge with plenty of ash scattered over citrus, red fruits, spices and burnt wood.

You struggle to understand the influence of the ex-Port casks, the Madeira ones having done practically all the work by eating up much of the distillate. The end result is not unpleasant, on the contrary, but a little too unbalanced and lacking in moments of real interest. Good, but nothing more.

Reviews of Laphroaig whisky

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