Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 Madeira

You may have received an e-mail from Laphroaig yesterday about the Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 Madeira. For this year’s Feis Ile, they released a follow-up for their Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood. This time it is a Madeira edition, which I believe is a wood type this distillery never worked with before.

The remaining bottles are now being sold by ballot. If you want a bottle, you can register your interest on the Friends of Laphroaig website and they’ll draw names at random on Friday 10th June.

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 Madeira was matured in American oak barrels (for around 8 years) and then married in Madeira-seasoned hogsheads (for two more years). Did you know the alcohol volume indicates the year of bottling? 51.6% means 2016 – in 2015 this was 51.5%.



Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 - Madeira editionLaphroaig Cairdeas 2016 – Madeira Cask (51,6%, OB – Feis Ile 2016)

The colour of an orange wine. Nose: not much Madeira, but there are hints of orange juice and red berry sweets, bigger than in other Laphroaigs. Other than that quite an ashy, peaty nose, with some dry pencil shavings and plenty of medicinal notes. Sweeter peat smoke than usual. Chilli heat. Briny seaweed after a while, as well as some liquorice.

Mouth: mostly a coastal and peaty Laphroaig with few additional notes other than a vaguely fragrant fruitiness. Earthy, mossy notes. Shells and minerals. Burnt butter. Plenty of bonfire, BBQ ashes and dry medicinal notes. And always this hint of (blood?) oranges, maybe one strawberry too.

Finish: long, on smoky lemons, liquorice and earthy peat.

Quite nice. This doesn’t resemble the Port Wood edition as there’s hardly a noticeable effect of the finishing. If anything it is slightly sweeter and more orangey. We’re not complaining though, it’s solid and really bold Laphroaig. Around € 90 but you’ll have to win the ballot first.

Score: 87/100