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Laphroaig is one of those iconic distilleries from Scotland that have built up a strong reputation of coming up with some absolute cracking expressions at regular intervals and believe me when I say this the 2014 Cairdeas release from them has only strengthened their reputation. Usually one hopes for something interesting from a spirit that has matured in both Bourbon barrels and Amontillado hogsheads. But this whisky goes well beyond just interesting and produces an outstanding medley of flavors that the spirit inherited from either cask and each of these are presented in just the perfect amount.
Nose: The opening notes from the whisky are typically Laphroaig… its like you were at their doorstep and they came to welcome you..with the usual smoke and iodine that is so reminiscent of them . As soon as this is done..the notes that have been gifted to the spirit by each cask make their presence felt..starting with the sweet caramel and cinnamon.. possibly from the Bourbon Cask followed by some nice sweet and minty notes.. more like one of those lovely ‘After 8’ sweets..There is also some distinct under ripe fruit aromas ..for me I’d say possibly guavas. At the there is some wood and lime left lingering behind..
Palate: The palate begins with some sweet honey and the smoke which is carried forward from the nose but almost simultaneously there is a rapid dryness that envelopes your mouth courtesy the sherry cask. Then comes the spice and this one is fairly spicy .. well definitely not overdone though. Have to admit that this is one full bodied and creamy dram. Have to add though that there are also some nutty notes in the mix. Once again both casks have made their contributions clearly felt on the palate as well
Finish: The finish is mildly dry with a dash of spices and possibly some dark chocolate too.. I would have to agree that these notes do linger on for quite a while.. making for a pleasant after taste of the great dram that you just savored
The perfect balance to this whisky coming from the right amount of flavors coming in after the double maturation is what makes this so special.
Slainte.. Laphroaig.. another feather in the cap this one!!