This is Laphroaig's distillery manager and head distiller John Campbell. Every year John puts together what is, for me, one of the best annual limited releases in the single malt industry: the Laphroaig "Cairdeas." Started as a distillery release for the pilgrims of Islay's Feis Ile festival, the label has since become a global release (much to the joy of whisky drinkers everywhere). In the past there's been a port wood edition, an amontillado sherry finish, and a 100% in-house floor malted expression, and in 2012 it was just a tasty whisky. This time around it's a Madeira cask finish, so there's a glaze of soft, honeyed sweet wine that highlights the trademark peat and iodine. We had a one bottle limit on this earlier in the week, but I figured we had enough now to remove any restrictions. Go for it! Treat yourself to some deliciousness.
Laphroaig 2016 "Cairdeas" Madeira Cask Islay Single Malt Whisky $79.99 - Each year Laphroaig's Master Distiller, John Campbell, handcrafts a limited edition malt to celebrate friendship ("Cairdeas" in Gaelic). The 2016 bottling features fully-matured Laphroaig aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being blended together for a second maturation in Madeira seasoned traditional hogsheads. The result is a classically smoky Laphroaig with accents of sweet fruits and honey around the edges. Bottled at 51.6%, the extra kick helps balance out the additional richness.