After writing my first article about Laphroaig for Robb Report in 2005, I was admittedly ecstatic when the distillery deemed me an honorary member of the “Friends of Laphroaig.” This meant that I, along with my fellow “FOL,” would be granted one square-foot of land on the Isle of Islay, as well as access to exclusive bottlings reserved for members only.
Luckily, I was living on that very isle at the time, and I eagerly journeyed to the distillery to graciously accept my small piece of Islay, the world’s foremost whisky wonderland.
This year, in celebration of the Friends of Laphroaig's 18th anniversary, the distillery released Càirdeas Origin, a dram that I consider to be a great intro for the virgin peat-ophile.
One swirl of Càirdeas (pronounced CAR-chas) and you feel as though you’ve stepped into a cozy bake shop, its display cases laden with just-born chocolate chip cookies, canisters of honey, malted milk balls, vials of smoked vanilla, and bushels of fresh white peaches. (I don’t care if they don’t sell peaches in bake shops.) This particular expression was aged for seven years in small quarter casks, which is thought to intensify the effect of the barrel’s wood and char.
A splash of water opens the door to bitter almond extract, fresh sugar cane, and whiffs of smoke (without a sea salt tang). It’s just sweet enough that those who are facing peat trepidation may not even notice the smoky undertones.
A highly delectable choice, by my standards. For more information about the Friends of Laphroaig, please click here.
The Laphroaig Càirdeas Origin Edition
Only 3,000 bottles available in the United States