Laphroaig puts out the so-called Cairdeas for Feis Ile since 2008. Cairdeas means friendship. I’ve tried them all bar the ones from 2017 and 2019 (if anyone has a sample for sale, get in touch!). Last year’s edition is in my glass today. It’s a vatting of whisky between 7 and 11 years old and was finished on Fino sherry casks.
The nose starts surprisingly soft on rhubarb marmalade, dried apricots and hazelnuts. A bit drying with a soft sour note. That must be the sherry. The peat offers some smoke, but not in your face. And I actually quite like it.
The peat is a lot bigger on the palate and offers sour and smoky notes, tar and ashes, but the fruit remains prominently present. Vanilla kicks in, a drop of honey is spilt. In the meantime it turns quite spicy, almost piquant. A bitterness kicks in. This is very nice, indeed.
It remains piquant in the medium long finish, sweet and smoky, but becomes dry quite quickly.
The Fino cannot be missed, but it loves the whisky (or is it the other way around?). This is a happy marriage.