It is also released for the Fèis Ìle (Islay Fest) which is celebrated each May. This bottling was originally aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being recasked in European hogsheads which previously held Madeira wine.
Laphroaig Cairdeas (say car-chase), ‘For The Friends of Laphroaig’! The 2016 edition is “fully matured” in bourbon barrels, married and then finished in Madeira hogsheads.
Quite viscous, oily and even waxy. Colour dark orange. Madeira hogsheads have certainly affected the colour less so the nose.
Nose – peat smoke, ash and a bit briney. The Madeira cask is very much in the background. Lacks the usual Laphroaig ortho and meta cresol medicinal or TCA aromas.
Palate – initial sweetness overpowered by salt and smoke. Sweetness is in the background. Chilli spiciness very prominent. Oily and waxy.
Finish – fruitiness a bit more prominent as smoke fades. Tannic, astringent. Astringency is long lasting. Interestingly the strong chilli is not present in the finish.
“Tasting this whisky is like spending a night on the beach near a bonfire with plenty of snacks. The salty sea air wafts out of the glass, with a smoke of burning leaves that come from both sea and land. Scents and flavors or rosemary, lime peel, and mint mix with richer tones of cashews, salty pretzels, bittersweet chocolate, and berry jam. A fun, familiar flavor akin to movie-theater popcorn butter kicks in toward the finish, which is so savory it’s almost crunchy, giving the palate plenty to do. “