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Laphroaig Cairdeas 2012

Average score from 4 reviews and 4 ratings 90

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2012

Product details

  • Brand: Laphroaig
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 55.0%

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Laphroaig Cairdeas 2012

Feis Ile is the malt & music festival on Islay at the end of May, where many aficionados go to get their hands on the limited bottlings. This Cairdeas was the festival bottling from Laphroaig in 2012. Cairdeas is Gaelic for ‘friendship’. I am sure this will be tasty. Judging by the color, some sherry was used in the mix. No less than 20.000 bottles were released, but then Laphroaig has many friends…

The nose is marked not so much by the typical smoky character of Laffie, but offers mostly a very sweet and fruity nose. Yep, a lot of sherry casks went into this release. Lime, apricots, cherries, banana, wood shavings, toffee, pineapple on the grill, caramel, pencil shavings, raw planks and so much more. Halfway through it even becomes a bit bourbonny. Somewhat strange, but very nice. With a teaspoon of water, it becomes sweeter still, like crème brûlée. But also somewhat greener on garden herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Weird!

The arrival is mildly drying and again my first idea is sipping a smoky bourbon. How weird indeed! Loads of tannins, lime, lemongrass and pepper. Nuts, too! It becomes a little more creamy and less drying when adding a few drops of water.

The dry, smoky finish that lingers nicely plasters a smile on my face.

Very good, even though I find it hard to recognize Laphroaig in this.


My thanks to @Pudge72 for the reviewed sample. I've tasted this 2012 Cairdeas previous to this sample, and also have my own unopened bottle

I let a bottle of this go at a reasonable price locally because there were a lot of so-so reviews of the 2011 release of Cairdeas. Well, I shouldn't have let that one get away, have tasted it since and loved it, and now have my own bottle, a year later

Nose: very smokey, very peaty, moderately medicinal nose, which is at once sweet, bitter, salty, and full of umami. Searing, vivid, acrid, and luscious. I see no possible way to improve on this nose. Perfect in the smokey heavily peated Islay style

Taste: the flavours translate to the mouth with increased sweetness; intense and delicious

Finish: long, mellowing out to a sweet and peaty glow...you can still taste the smoke at the end...it almost burns a hole in your tongue...

Balance: I don't think that I have ever met a Laphroaig that I don't like. This 2012 Laphroaig Cairdeas is one of the best

@Victor thanks for the wonderful review. DANG! I am sad I missed out on this one. The Cairdeas in general seem to get mixed reviews. However, this one sounds like one I would have enjoyed. The information I have pieced together is that it was designed by John Cambell (he and Robert Hicks have seemed to swap years putting the Cairdeas together): 50% is Laphroaig spirit fully matured for 7 years in quarter cask; the other 50% is left over from the original 2008 Cairdeas liquid matured for 4 more years (which I assume was in the standard ex: Maker's Mark bourbon barrels).

Anyone know anything else different about this liquid?

You are more than welcome @Victor. Really glad you enjoyed the sample so much. The sweetness I pick up in this one comes across to me a bit like coconut. It works very nicely with the rest of the aromas/flavours.


I made a phone order for the 2013 Port wood after missing out on the FOL email. I got my bottle two weeks later by someone coming back from the US, and he handed me a green bottle... I looked at the label and its the Origin - 2012. I looked it up and thought is can't be bad (called the store and they gave me a port wood at a huge discount for their error - very happy to have both).

Well - I tried it yesterday and wasn't dissapointed!

the nose is very gentle, with hints of smoke ans something citrusy - couldn't nail it between lemon and orange, with a hint of rind. Adding afew drops of water helped increase, but remained gentle. Letting it breath with the water also improved and made it extremely smooth.

The pallate was very nice - I could have enjoyed some more smoke, but a great balance of smoke and fruitiness, with hints of lemon - simply delicious!!! I enjoyed holding it in my mouth, but it is smooth enough for drinking straight, unlike some recent Ardbegs that bite...

Finish - not very long and quite gentle, but incredibly nice. At a reasonable price you can still get bottles in some places, and I am trying to get a case - this is the best bang for the buck of any whisky I have tried to date (i have not yet tried the port wood edition, as it still awaits me in the US...).

This whisky has no drawbacks and is extremely enjoyable. not overly complex, but complex and complete enough for both seasoned and novice scotch drinkers.

An never forget - it is Cairdeas - share with a friend, as I did!

I've been eyeing this bottle for quite some time and I finally got around to picking it up. It's great stuff. My favorite Laphroaig for sure. Would you happen to know where I could get some?


Well this is one that has peat rushing out from the bottle as soon as you open it..it's almost like Aladdin's lamp that was rubbed and out came the genie to grant your wish ..well mine was to go back to Islay..and that's exactly what I got when I sat down and let my nose take me on a journey.... with a strong and yet not uncomfortably overpowering peat ..I was transported right to the peat kilns in Islay...and if you managed to get out of this mesmerizing bit ..you could catch hints of iodine, oak and some sweetness which I would guess was probably caramel or butterscotch tucked in beneath ..all which made you your tongue really envious of what your nose was enjoying. As soon I decided to begin the next phase of my journey and have my first sip..I was greeted with a slight saltiness probably more like salted butter that was covered by more of that perfect peaty smoke that ensured this beautiful dream wasn't fading away so easily....finally I swallowed the liquid hoping that there was still more turns to this wonderful journey..well....unfortunely ..poof! and the genie had disappeared sooner than it appeared and my journey to Islay was over...well I guess the perfect finish would have made this expression too good to be true..for me though this ...in my amateur opinion..is still an exceptional dram that transported me from the 36th floor of my apartment in Dubai straight to the picturesque landscape of Islay in less than a few minutes and that's more than I could have asked for...

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