Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask (2018 Feis Ile edition) – review

After the lovely Lagavulin, it’s time to visit Laphroaig’s festival offering – namely the Cairdeas. Cairdeas stands for ‘friendship’ and each year a different edition consisting of different casks etc, is released. Last year’s Quarter casks were not my cup of tea, and hopefully this year’s Fino cask will be nicer. I am quite a fan of Fino sherry , I drink quite a bit of it, and enjoy this dry, light refreshing sherry, mostly in summer. Turns out Fino has a lovely effect on whisky as well, and though it’s not very popular among whisky makers , much less common than the Oloroso, or even PX. I guess it’s harder to just create seasoned Fino casks like Oloroso casks are made, due to the different fermentation method etc. Anyways, let’s see how a young Laphroaig (those Cairdeas of recent are quite young) benefits from the Fino touches…  What’s fun about this one is that it was available on Islay but also on the online shop after the fest for £85. Sold out by now, i see.

Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask (2018 Feis Ile edition) , 51.8%

Nose: quite gentle nose for a Laphroaig, as gentle as you can expect from this big flavored distillery whisky profile… there’s a nice sweetness along with a briny touch, Fino style, and Fino being one of my favorite sherry types, this is quite appealing to me, at least. three’s of course some medicinal notes, the peat, and some TCP, and hint of green olive. The spirit is obviously quite young and you can spot that, but it’s quite nice actually. Not very complex, but appealing.
Palate:  the peat and smoke are bigger on the palate, which is nice, there’s the dry fino notes as well, some hints of fruit, salty caramel, leather and more olives, a bit of earth and tar, pepper and ash.
Finish: dry, ashy, salty , toasted nuts.

Bottom line:

I quite liked this edition, certainly more than last year’s. The Fino touches are quite welcome, and the whisky is not as fierce as you might expect from a Laphroaig at 51.8%. It may not be the most complex of drams, and it may not be the best Laphroaig, but it is a fun dram, and for me a ‘summertime’ Laphroaig if there was ever one. Recommended.

 

Score: 87/100

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