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Santa must have ESP or a fibre internet connection. How did he know I wanted to enjoy the festivities with this stunning Smokey wonder on a balmy Christmas evening. And enjoy it I did!
The soft pale straw colour through a clear bottle was the first glimpse and was followed by an invisible smoke haze as I splashed the first two fingers into the glass. What is it about Laphroiag that makes it so easily distinguished and desirable. The 10 and QC are favourites and Cairdeas takes this malt to a new level for me.
The nose is full of lemon zest and vanilla essence. I catch some young lime then find an unexpected rum and raisin blend, brandied lemon. It's seems young then warms and invites another deep breath. The smoke is just so Laphroiagian-esque-ish? It's reassuring and welcome.
On the palate I get Smokey toffee and Christmas fruit mix. This will go well with the cake later.
I taste salty driftwood that's been in the ocean for weeks and is now just being lit on a beach fire. There's caramel and a lingering sweetness at the back.
I really like this stuff. It adds another dimension to the Laphroaig set but retains the family gene that makes it so good. It's a little smoother and richer that the 10 and has warm maturity over the QC. I wish I had another one on the shelf because this one is disappearing very quickly.