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This year's Cairdeas release from Laphroaig comes entirely from Warehouse 1 - Laphroaig's rackhouse closest to the sea. Barrels can only be stored in this warehouse for up to nine years or so - after that, the salinity is so great the hoops begin rusting off the barrels. This expression pays tribute to this notable warehouse on-premise, and I originally tasted this release for the first time while standing in Warehouse 1 on the Isle of Islay in Scotland. I have a bottle here, fresh and just opened, so let's dive on in.
Pungent stone, ash, burning wood and char, a sweet undertone and apricot candies. Char driven and smoky with more wood and maritime air on the nose.
Moderate mouthfeel that focuses on sweet fruits, jammy complexity and a cream sweetness on the back palate. Peat takes a back seat here while providing nuance in the form of creamy sweetness, honey, plum and apricot and a touch of honey.
Long finish, dry and ashy once more with an asphalt aroma that works into the olfactory, pairing with light plum and peach, chemical smoke and a touch of burning charcoal and smoked meats.
Overall, if you love your Laphroaig with a touch of stone fruit and apricot cobbler, this is a winner. It's unlike 2015 and the other releases that don't focus on unique maturation casks like a wine finish or quarter cask, and it's a refreshing show of Laphroaig's ability to make delicious things with the space and tools they have already.