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Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015

Average score from 2 reviews and 3 ratings 90

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015

Product details

  • Brand: Laphroaig
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 51.5%

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Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015

Cairdeas means ‘friendship’ in Gaelic, so this is a well-chosen name for the Feis Ile bottlings. This time it is the so-called 200th Anniversary Edition (after all, the distillery was founded in 1815), especially for the friends of Laffie. I heard through the grapevine that it is a distillate from August 2003, making it 12 years old.

The nose begins on loads of smoke and the typical medicinal touches, followed by fruit. Think apples and pears, but also lime and blood oranges. Some herbal hints as well. Grass and hay. Some earthy notes. Honey and smoked ham. Vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt. What a wonderful nose.

It is quite creamy on the palate. And rich. Phew! Sweet ashes, white fruit, vanilla and salt going head to head. Some nuts as well. Bacon versus apple, both on the BBQ. Nice!

The finish is nicely smoky on loads of citrus and spices.

Wonderful Laffie. Originally this bottle was available at the distillery for around 90 EUR. Today you’ll need to fork over at least twice that (I even saw it for 250 EUR in one shop, which is outrageous). Sad, is it not? Thanks for the sample to The Green Man!

Thanks for the review Mark. Somehow the LCBO here in Canada managed to get this in and sold it for $99 CDN. Glad I picked up two bottles as it sounds like this is quickly becoming an expensive bottling!

Are they all the same? This is absolutely spilling off the shelves at numerous retailers here in Madison, WI (USA). And everyone's charging $75-78 USD.

I already bought one and stashed antoher; maybe I should go back for more. I do really like it and it seems to me like the REAL anniversary bottling, rather than the 15.


Laphroaig will always have a special place in my heart for me. It is constantly fighting for a top spot with Ardbeg for my affections. And I think I'm finally ready to accept that Laphroaig consistently produces better whiskies than Ardbeg.

I am, therefore, officially announcing that Laphroaig is now my No. 1 whisky of choice. Sorry Ardbeg but you've let me down far too many times of late.

So it was quite symbolic that the first distillery I ever visited was this one when I traveled to Scotland last week to attend the Islay Festival. We went straight from the tiny airport to the distillery to take part in the festivities.

After standing in line for over an hour we managed to enter the shop and picked up our bottles of the 2015 Cairdeas. With those in the bag we managed to attend a couple of tastings while there.

One of them was called 2015 which included three expressions all released this year. There was the new 10 year old Cask Strength Batch 007, an unreleased 21 year old (delicious!) and of course this years' Feis Ile release.

This years' release is different from the others since it uses floor malted barley as opposed to regular malted barley. It's been distilled using the small stills at the distillery which means it has a lot of fruity characteristics. And matured in first-fill bourbon barrels in the famous Warehouse No1 by the sea.

Distilled in August 2003 my sample is nearly 12 years old and bottled at 51.5% (the last two digits are a nod to the year by the way).

Nose: Typical Laphroaig. TCP. Iodine. Sea weed. There's a hint of char. Some toasted barley. But then comes the sweetness. So much of it. Lots of fruity citrus. Pineapples. Lemon. Lime. Blood oranges. Tinge of honey. Vanilla. Quite nicely layered.

Palate: Hint of smoke. Touch of peat. Again very sweet. The pineapple is back. So is the vanilla. Warehouse No1 comes into play with all the saltiness. An interesting sweet and salty combination. I really like it.

Finish: Nice and long with a hint of oak.

This is an interesting Laphroaig which goes back to the old ways of whisky making. The peat is different because of the floor malting. The maturation quite interesting thanks to living in the damp dunnage warehouse by the sea for almost 12 years. Good stuff!

@Nock That is quite the tall order I must admit but let me try.

15 YO : Not very impressed. Some diesel fuel, linseed oil, wood varnish which I'm not a huge fan of. Did not really manage to hold it all together as nicely as I would have liked. At the end of the day it's personal preference.

CS 007 : Very similar to 006. Lots of smoke, char, iodine with very nice citrus. Quite nice.

21 : Mellow. Charred but with a sweetness. Older Laphroaigs (anything over 18ish) seem to subdue the smoke and bring out the sweetness. Very nice whisky. Just managed a 35cl bottle so detailed notes to follow.

Thanks for the review. I just picked up a bottle. I see from your Islay trip that you also had a taste of the 15yo in addition to the CS 007 and the (soon to be released) 21yo.

From your review this seems to fit between the 18yo (which I find strong in pineapple and fruit) and the 10yo CS. Could you give a comparison of sorts (obviously from a sketchy memory filled with Islay drams)? I would love to hear your take on the range from the Islay festival even if it is extremely generic.

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