Each year, Laphroaig distillery manager John Campbell crafts a limited edition malt to “celebrate friendship” (“Cairdeas” in Gaelic). For 2017 he will release a cask strength version of the Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask expression.
The 2017 bottling of Cairdeas features different ages of Laphroaig matured for more than five years in first-fill bourbon casks, then laid to rest a second time in smaller quarter casks. After six months of further maturation, the liquid from 177 of the casks was bottled at cask strength — no color added, no chilling and a simple barrier filtration.
Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask 2017 is 114.4 proof (57.2% ABV).
The nose is gentle coffee cream and freshly sliced vanilla pods, the company reports, buxilding into sweet mint with notes of old hay and a background of beach bonfire then freshly sanded wood. On the palate are flavors of sweet vanilla dryness that develops into a creamy, oily mouth feel with bitter licorice root and a throat full of smoke. The finish is creamy and smoky.
The suggested retail price is $79.99 per 750-ml. bottle.