A wee dram of Scotch is best enjoyed among friends old and new, with a unifying power that only comes from carefully crafted liquid. That’s the idea behind the long-running Laphroaig Càirdeas Series and the launch of its latest iteration, the 2021 Càirdeas Pedro Ximenez Cask Edition.
Càirdeas is Scottish Gaelic for friendship, a fitting reminder of how great experiences bring people together.
The triple-matured Scotch is sure to become as coveted and collectable as other editions of the Càirdeas Series, launched by Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell as a way to celebrate the Friends of Laphroaig program. That program debuted in 1994, and successive releases offer up a way to connect with Scotch enthusiasts across the globe.
Luckily, this year’s edition is available for loyal fans far and wide.
Find it in U.S. stores and for purchase at Laphroaig for $99, a more-than-agreeable price for a Scotch that’s exquisitely nuanced and best enjoyed in a tranquil setting (upstate New York along the Hudson River on a foggy morning comes to mind).
The Scotch itself goes through three distinct phases, beginning with a stint in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels before aging in quarter casks (smaller-sized casks that provide more contact with wood). To finish off this smoky, peaty Scotch, European Oak Hogshead casks containing Pedro Ximenez sherry.
Earlier this year, Laphroaig Distillery also released a 10-Year Sherry Oak Finish, and this new Scotch carries forth that innovation and experimentation even further.
The result is a remarkable Scotch best enjoyed on breezy summer or fall nights among good company. A medicinal, sweet and nutty nose brings forth everything from hazelnut and praline, while the taste is a world unto itself: Pay close attention as you experience notes of grilled bacon as well as prominent Manuka honey and malt and oak spices.
Enjoy it neat with but a few drops of water, in plentiful (responsible) quantities, preferably with a stellar view or a roaring fire in front of you. The only thing better than experiencing the latest Laphroaig release these days would be a visit to the famed estate itself, but for now, this release is just about the perfect substitute.