*We received a sample of the Cairdeas Finish Cask Finish from our friends and the review is based of that sample.
Usually I have been a fan of these NAS new expressions from some of the bigger distillers including Laphroaig. There is something special about a dram that does not boast itself just by the number of years its spent in the cask. That being said, I have mixed feelings about this particular release. In 2017 we had the 15 year old Cairdeas that was just out of this world. Because of this I had very much high hopes for this years release, especially since we are big fans of the Fino Cask Finishes. The initial aging in Bourbon casks makes this young expression very bourbon forward, with the Fino almost nowhere to be found.
I personally have nothing against bourbon casks, however, if I wanted something light and something that tasted like bourbon… well then I would buy bourbon.
Name: Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask Finish
ABV: 51.8% – a bit light for something that’s at that proof
Aroma: Sweet and creamy with peat and minerals of the sea prevalent. Faint notes of iodine and vanilla mixed with oranges. A weird aroma for something like Laphroaig that I am so much accustomed to. This is not its downfall. This brings a new layer to the standard laphroaig releases.
Palate: Honey and caramel, with a hint of milk chocolate and hazelnut. Not too oily and a bit watery for the 51.8% abv. Not much if anything at all of the Fino on the tongue. You almost get a char like campfire taste in the forefront that becomes quite sweet and almost tangy. Dark caramel and dried orange peel stick to your tongue like unwanted bed bugs.
Finish: medium to short, peat forward and dried fruits with honey and caramel. A lot of the flavor comes from the bourbon barrel aging, and not enough from the Fino itself.