LeeEvolved

Laphroaig Càirdeas 2019 Triple Wood Cask Strength

Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

Tasted July 18, 2019
4.5
4.5 out of 5 stars
The newest Cairdeas release is upon us. Since 2008, Laphroaig distillery has released a special bottle in honor of their distillery’s day for the annual Feis Ile festival on Islay. In the early days they simply bottled various aged, standard Laphroaig malt. Then they blended several random age statements together and released those. In 2013 they released their first specialty finished cask- the Port wood version. It’s been their biggest, white whale Cairdeas bottle to date, but in 2017 they began another trend of taking something from their core range and releasing it at cask strength as their Cairdeas bottle. For 2019, they’ve given us the venerable Triple Wood CS. It’s bottled at a whopping 59.5% ABV. Now, the standard Triple Wood usually gets a mixed bag of reviews: some love all the wood influence, some do not. Some people think the cask notes overpower the standard Laphroaig medicinal qualities and campfire smoke. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of the first bottle of Triple Wood I ever bought, but they won me over on the second go around. So, I was anxious to try this beefed up version, although I do miss the days when Laphroaig experimented more for the Feis Ile bottles. The 2019 Cairdeas is surprisingly more amber in color than the standard Triple Wood fare. There’s very skinny legs and tiny drops running around this oily beast. The nose provides the BBQ smoke and band aids you’ve come to expect from th’ frog. Young oak flexes it’s muscle before releasing more subtle flavors like mint, berries and sherry grapes. The palate starts out with some crazy sherry notes- way more than the standard Triple Wood. Way, way more. The higher ABV leads to a more abrasive mouthfeel, but the sweet smoke and sea salt play a delicious role here as well. There’s still a ton of oak to remind you this is the Triple Wood, but the sherry aspect takes center stage and just dances into the recesses of your mouth. It’s quite the performer. The finish is also hot, but sweet and mouthwatering. Heavy wood notes linger on after the sherry fades and an increased warmth will either have you sitting back relishing the power of cask strength whisky or scrambling for some water to tamp down the flames. It’s all about how much you can take. Personally, I really love this version. I was feeling a little uninspired when they announced this because I wasn’t overly impressed with 2017’s Quarter Cask CS. I felt like the regular QC was beautifully balanced and wasn’t improved upon. This CS Triple Wood is still complex, hot as the devil, but sweetened just enough with the sherry cask to make it hit all the right notes. It’s not perfect, the young spirit still holds it back a little, but it’s better than the standard Triple Wood. The fact it’s cask strength and only $10-15 more than the core bottle makes this a nice value for money purchase, too. I give this 4.5 stars and urge fans of the regular Triple Wood to seek it out and buy a case. Normal Laphroaig fans should also snag a bottle or two and just take their time enjoying this beefed up, wood blend beauty. Cheers, my friends.
90.0 USD per Bottle
  • Bergkampgunner
    August 11, 2019

    @LeeEvolved I’m looking forward to this one. I skipped the Madeira Cairdeas but have enjoyed all the others since Port. I actually noticed some things you did with the 2017 and I have an idea for you. Shortly after opening that bottle I had just watched a Ralfy review where he’d mixed a cask strength G&M Caol Ila with a standard bottle and it got me thinking so I started mixing the QC Cairdeas with some 10 YO. Still single malt cuz it’s all Laphroaig juice but it matured the heck out of the young QC and the Cask Strength of the QC lent more power to the standard 10. I gave the friend who got my interested in whisk(e)y a blind taste test of 10, 2017 Cairdeas and my mixture and he picked my blend. I haven’t gotten my bottle of the 2019 yet but I will. You may try your hand at mixology if you did grab that full case 🤪. I’ve trusted your palate many times and would wonder what you thoughts are if you do. Either way, great review as always and has me looking forward to this one even more!!

  • Rick_M
    July 21, 2019

    Ok, I’m looking forward to it. :)

  • LeeEvolved
    July 21, 2019

    @cascode - the good thing is that if this new segment draws in more viewers/subscribers to Dapper Drams then I’ll be opening these types of rarities more often. Which is a win/win- I get to enjoy more of these bottles that have slowly driven me to the brink of financial ruin and followers of the channel and my @Distiller account will get to see more obscure bottle reviews. I’m doing this “for the people”, you might say*. * see how pretentious that sounds?

  • cascode
    July 21, 2019

    @LeeEvolved Nothing wrong with showboating, if you have a stylish vessel and the flair to launch it well :)

  • LeeEvolved
    July 21, 2019

    @Rick_M @cascode - interesting you should ask. I’m currently filming a new segment for @Generously_Paul’s channel that will also be my 500th review. Once the video is done it’ll probably be a week before I write an official review for it- so that the review and the video debut at the same time. That said, it isn’t a super rare or expensive bottle, but I think once you guys learn the backstory and some of the details behind it, I hope you’ll think it is worthy of number 500. I was entertaining the idea of popping the Macallan Oscuro or Reflexion, or maybe even the Laphroaig 32, but that would just be showboating and make me look more like a pretentious a-hole.

  • cascode
    July 21, 2019

    @Rick_M & @LeeEvolved ... and will it be something special? :)

  • Rick_M
    July 21, 2019

    @LeeEvolved - When is cinquecento coming? :)

  • Scott_E
    July 18, 2019

    @LeeEvolved Anxious now to snag me a bottle.

  • Rick_M
    July 18, 2019

    @LeeEvolved - I really liked the regular Triple Wood when I had it in a restaurant, so I’m sure this one is as you rate it. Nice job!

  • PBMichiganWolverine
    July 18, 2019

    I’m looking forward to this one. I didn’t like their regular version, but this sounds much better.

  • cascode
    July 18, 2019

    @LeeEvolved Ha! We could try begging or bribery. Honestly by the sound of it this Cardy Triple Wood ticks almost all by Islay boxes.

  • LeeEvolved
    July 18, 2019

    @cascode - if you’re a Triple Wood fan you won’t be disappointed. The moment I finished a tasting session with about 5-6oz of this stuff I actually fantasized about how good this would be if they just finished it in port wood casks for 8-9 months. I’m imagining the greatest Laphroaig ever. How do we break into the distillery and make this happen, because it should."

  • cascode
    July 18, 2019

    I’m drooling as I type and searching for a local source ...