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I have a bottle of this stashed away so it was nice to share it with a bunch of friends when a friend of mine decided to contribute this gem from Islay. (Fitting that I should have had it the first time with friends since Cairdeas in Gaelic means Friendship).
Another un-Laphroaig-ian nose that I have encountered of late. Are they toning their spirits down? I hope not. I mean I love how this one smells. I just hope they don't change their style completely and by that I mean the Quarter Cask, the 10 and the 18.
The nose is an instant drop of lovely cashew nuts and mixed dry fruits. Boiled lemon sweets dipped in malt, drizzled with delicate sugar syrup and sprayed with a lovely peaty mist. The nose is delicate yet assertive. Is it too delicate? Well, yes when compare to standard Laphroaigs. But that's just me being too picky.
The smooth, oily palate comes tumbling with sugars and crushed lemon rind and melon drops. The late cardamom spices step in to remind you that this is not all child's play. Not as complex as I would have liked but highly likable nonetheless.
The long finish is a bit chalky and dries towards the end but I quite like the dry spice and mocha coffee beans its brings along with it.
I think this is a wonderfully restrained dram. The only fault I would find is that it did not really let it's hair out on the palate.
Would I drink this again?
Well, what do you think I'm drinking right now?