If there’s one distillery that really bonds with its ‘fans’ or friends, if you like, It is Laphroaig. We’ve been ‘friends of Laphroaig’ ever since our first bottle but it took us years to finally ‘seal’ our friendship.
Back in April 2018 we visited Islay and of course we went for a tour around the Laphroaig Distillery. Susan, our tour guide made us feel incredibly welcome and really treated us like friends. If she had said ‘make yourself at home´ we probably would’ve come back to the Netherlands with a few casks and some more things that belong to the interior of the distillery. Thank god she didn’t.
After the tour and downing a few drams, we claimed our rent and plotted our own square foot of Islay. We headed back to the distillery and the little museum and spent some time with our friends.
Our friendship with Laphroaig comes to full fruition with the Friends of Laphroaig Exclusive Cairdeas Bottlings. Stefan Groenen, one of our good friends as well, bought this 2020 expression, ex-bourbon and second fill Ruby port casks, married and finished in ex red wine casks.
Winegums, licorice, fresh tropical pineapple, barley, some Turkish delight and raisins raise from the glass.
Parsley, some salt and pepper, garlic, a pinch of cayenne pepper, paprika powder, nutmeg, a bit of spiced wood and raspberries.
Licorice makes a comeback, fishy flavours, a watermelon sorbet, savoury and salty smoke, it’s a full, fresh and sweet finish with mint, citrus and peach.
Stefan, this 2020 Cairdeas and the both of us get along very well. I think that this Cairdeas, Gaelic for friendship, is bottled not only for the friends of Laphroaig, but to share with everyone you consider a friend. That’s exactly what whisky is made for, sharing a dram with your closest friends. If you ever set sail to Islay, make sure you visit Laphroaig because, using their own words; We don’t make friends easily, but when we do, they’re for life.