Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask Review - Decadent, sweet & peated

Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask Review - Decadent, sweet & peated

Let's be honest. The scotch industry is making fools of us with special cask finishes. While sherry cask finishes weren't new five years ago, they've sprouted up like dandelions. Then came the wine finishes, which were never all that successful, but plentiful. Oloroso Sherry became a statement of the quality sherry finishes. Port finishes? Oh, yes! There are plenty of port finishes.

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Laphroaig 10 Year Old Original Cask Strength - Batch 006 Review

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Original Cask Strength - Batch 006 Review

Laphroaig is deserving of the scotch cult following. Some hate Laphroaig, some like Laphroaig on occasion, and others love Laphroaig whisky. For those in the latter category, this cask strength variation of Laphroaig 10 is for you. 

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Laphroaig 18 Year Old - One of the Great Ones from Islay

Laphroaig 18 Year Old - One of the Great Ones from Islay

Laphroaig 18 is a favourite of mine. It wasn’t long ago that you could find this release for around $75 in the United States. At that price point, it’s an insanely great buy, and quite frankly we’ll likely not ever see it sold so cheaply. While the product is largely discontinued, you might still find supplies of it in 2016 before it’s officially gone.

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The Importance of Aging

This week on The Whisky Topic, Jamie and I talk about scotch. Undoubtably, the discussion leads to no-age statement whisky and the current state of whisky from Scotland.

When I wrote about this topic originally, I noted that it’s not just about age-statements. It’s about the quality of the barrels used. Just yesterday, Oliver Klimek wrote about how Laphroaig 10 has changed over the years. Stylistically speaking, I’ve always been a far bigger fan of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask and the 18 over the 10. The 10 has always been a touch too mild, and while that can be good, it’s not really the type of drink I want from Laphroaig.

But this brings us back to the point that age-statements are such a small part of the picture when it comes to good whisky. First-fill, second-fill, third-fill, fourth-fill. These aspects of barrel maturation matter far more. That’s not to say all good scotch is made in first-filled barrels. It’s not. It does, however, mean that quality of the barrels matters far more than how long the whisky has been sitting around in those barrels.

The problem with no-age statement whisky isn't the lack of age statement (though that is a part of it). It's an issue of trust and credibility. For the distilleries that are selling NAS whisky, it's an issue they're going to need to address. 

Ultimately, it’s about palate and flavour. Check-out the podcast for a deeper explanation. Meanwhile, I’m going to see if I can find myself a Laphroaig 18. It’s an incredible drink!