Wow, Laphroaig Cairdeas packs a lot of brown sugar and honey sweetness with nearly as much charred oak, burnt meat ends, and smoke, but little sherry influence. That’s all immediately followed with heaping amounts of meaty and savory barbeque spices: cayenne pepper, black pepper, celery salt, and onion. The alcohol has quite a bite, the opposite of the nose, which lulled me into thinking it would be calm. It’s a lot to process all at once.
After “chewing”, I still taste a stream of smoke and spicy wood followed by honey, oak, barbeque spices (think mesquite, paprika, garlic, onion, pepper, and celery salt), and a little orange and vanilla. It’s crazy barbeque-y and savory, and if I recall correctly, spicier than Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength. Again, there isn’t much sherry influence, and in general it’s tough to pick out much of the fruit. Even with smaller sips I still struggle to pick out specific fruit notes. There’s predominately honey with hints of fruitiness, but the fruit is mostly washed over by peat and spice. The potent alcohol kick is still there, but not out of the ordinary for 59.5%, so prepare yourself.
Easing into the finish, I’m left with honey, oak, smoke, and chili spices with lingering smoky oak. The dried berries start to appear midway through the finish, but I’d love to have more. Post “chewing”, there’s brown sugar, a drop of dense orange extract and orange peel, with a lot of residual smoke, char, paprika, spice, mushrooms, and vegetation. The fruit tends to appear more in the finish than the palate. This Cairdeas has a barbeque-y and savory finish.
Laphroaig Cairdeas Triple Wood is a crazy savory, smoky, delicious, and intense Scotch, but I wish that there were stronger fruit notes, something I’d expect from sherry finishing. Still, this tastes great, so buckle up for the ride.