ITS GORGEOUS PEATY TASTE FUELED BY A UNIQUE GEOGRAPHIC CONFLUENCE, LAPHROAIG RELEASES A LIMITED EDITION TRIPLE WOOD CASK STRENGTH
BY EVAN MONROE
Laphroaig (La ‘froyg) means “the beautiful hollow by the broad bay” in Gaelic. Born from the streams and blue peat smoke of the Scottish island of Islay, this single malt scotch whisky comes with a distinct taste and story. Contributors to its favor include proximity to ocean water salt and the region’s famous peat bogs; it’s one of very few distilleries still using traditional malting floors drying and infusing its malt with the thick smoke of peat red kilns.
Each year, Laphroaig Distillery Manager, John Campbell, crafts a limited edition malt in tribute to friendship (“cairdeas” in Gaelic). Those who were lucky enough to attend this year’s May into June FèisiÌle celebrations had the chance to share a dram of his Cairdeas Triple Wood Cask Strength, one of the most anticipated Laphroaig offerings each year. 2019’s release is a triple maturation type; first aged in ex bourbon barrels, the distillate is next saturated with favor in smaller quarter casks, then finished in European oak casks that previously housed Spanish Oloroso sherry, which help produce a sweet and smooth finish. It is then barrier filtered and bottled at cask strength to create a punchy dram with Laphroaig’s signature richness and smoky taste.
Burnished gold in appearance, it presents aromas of leather and tobacco leaves, along with lemon and clementine. The first taste is one of golden syrup, then rich heather honey, hazelnuts, vanilla, and a touch of white pepper and nutmeg. Finish is sweet and long, with notes of caramel and spicy buttery fudge. $79.99