Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask, 51.6%

Price: $75 Issue: Fall 2016 Reviewer: Dave Broom

The annual Cairdeas release aims to show Laphroaig in a new light. Initially I thought this too sweet and cask dominated, with the distillery battling against the wine—fresh red fruit and seaweed is a test, even for the best chef. Add water and give it time though, and there is this lightly exotic, herbal, hazelnut-like element. It lacks depth and the tarry thump beloved by many Laphroaig lovers, but is an interesting departure.