Laphroaig 2014 Cairdeas Review – Amontillado Cask

Laphroaig 2014 Cairdeas Review - Amontillado Cask
The 2013 Cairdeas was / is among my favorite whiskies. It’s so obscenely good I had a bit of separation anxiety when I finished off my first bottle and the only thing that could console me was knowing that I had 3 more bottles sitting in reserve so I opened one to set the world right again. Yes that’s a bit dramatic, but the truth is that it was amazing so how does the 2014 Cairdeas stack up? And more importantly… what the hell is Amontillado?

Tackling the last question first, because the first is answered in the review below, Amontillado is “a variety of Sherry wine characterized by being darker than Fino but lighter than Oloroso” (wikipedia). It’s a sherry that starts life as a Fino, but then through a manipulation of fortification is turned into an Amontillado. In simple terms it’s a type of sherry so what we’re really dealing with is a sherry finished Laphroaig. Just not the typical Oloroso or PX casks that are often sought after and used.

Laphroaig 2014 Cairdeas Review

ABV: 51.4%
Age:9 years
Price: $75*
Distiller: Laphroaig

Golden yellow

There is no mistaking it… this is a Laphroaig. That sweet smoky peat just rockets out of the glass. Warm and aromatic that signature peat mixes gracefully with milky caramel, brine, citrus custard, smoked meat, cinnamon, toasted nuts and a rich earthy mushroom like character.

Peat, ash and a milky sweetness permeate the palate. These dominant flavors mix harmoniously with notes of cocoa, cinnamon, leather, charcoal, smoked meat and sea salt. No matter how you slice it, it’s a nice tasting whisky.
A long full finish filled with smoke, peat char and a nutty malty sweetness that slowly fades out to a leathery cinnamon.

Great balance, a medium body and a warm rich feel that has some serious bite to it. You definitely know you’re drinking a high proofed scotch.

The nose and palate are nice, but there is a persistent milky sweetness in there that throws it a bit off for me. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely like it, but for me it just doesn’t hold a candle to last year’s release. The 2013 Port Wood edition is still among my favorite whiskies and has a deep and complex richness that this one just can’t quite match. Nonetheless, it’s tasty and as soon as I can find someone with a bottle in stock I’ll be bringing it home with me.

SCORE: 88/100



 *Disclosure: This was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.


Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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2 Responses to Laphroaig 2014 Cairdeas Review – Amontillado Cask

  1. Your basically selling whisky to get free samples so it’s hard to really take your “reviews” seriously. It is hard to criticize something that someone has given to you as a gift is it not? That probably explains your consistently high scores for most of your “reviews”. Also Call the recent trend of NAS releases what it really is, a lightly veiled plot to sell younger, rougher spirit for a higher price. You are reinforcing this phenomena. Your sample came in that little metal flask eh? You bet! Laphroaig 10 is now going for 38 bucks in my area down from $ 45. It just doesn’t make sense to pay double for a product 1-2 years older even if it is a “new experience”. I’ m not buying the excuse of depleted stocks either. If that’s the case why is the price of the core expression going down? I think it’s because demand is going down and this greedy trend on the part of the distillers is beginning to backfire on them big time. Prices already indicate that the buble is already bursting. Sorry if this post is coming across as mean spirited but I just call it like I see it.

    • Congratulations, you’re the first person to see through my carefully planned ruse of spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of my free time to net out a handful of free samples every year. I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing this, it makes complete sense and has absolutely been the best use of my time and money over the last 3 years all to get this little $15 flask with $10 worth of whisky in it.

      You’re also completely correct about the high scores. I mean my average score is in the mid to low 80s and yeah brands just love seeing a sea of mid-low 80s on their products. I should forward you some of their love letters. They mostly go something like this “Why’d you give us an 83, we won a double gold at the Mattersville Spirits Festival!” which sounds like a complaint, but I know it’s actually a thinly veiled love letter.

      If you had actually done more than read this one review and look at the front page of the site you might have stumbled across the Hibiki Harmony post where I talk about the problems, and possibilities, with NAS. Though if you had actually looked at the front page you would have seen me giving Brenne a horrible review on a 1 oz sample they sent me, so now I’m even doubting the “you looked at the front page” theory.

      Anyways, no worries about your comment coming across as mean spirited, because it didn’t. It came across as the tirade of an uninformed miscreant who made a snap judgement because he was quick with the keyboard but slow with his brain. Not sorry if this reply is coming across as sarcastic with a hint of “I-don’t-actually-care-about-your-uninformed-opinion”, but I just call it like I see it.

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