Skip to main content

Two Laphroaig Scotches To Enjoy This Fall

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a nice dram of scotch (spring and summer are great, too, and winter is perfect, but we’re not there yet). This fall, Laphroaig (la-froyg for the uninitiated) is offering up two expressions that’ll warm you just enough to stave off the dipping temperatures.

First up is Laphroaig Lore, the distillery’s 2016 age statement-less release. Lore is composed of whiskies that have been aged in sherry casks, quarter casks, and reused peated casks, all of which are between 7 and 21 years old (in addition to three other ages in between, as Distillery Manager John Campbell has said on Twitter). Lore was created by Campbell to honor the generational knowledge that is passed between everyone who has or will work at Laphroaig. Campbell calls Lore the “richest” Laphroaig ever made.

When sipping Lore (48% ABV), you’ll get the signature Islay smoke on the nose mixing with salinity and minerality, leading into notes of bitter, bitter chocolate and a little bit of ash. On the palate, you’ll again taste the peat, this time mixing with fairly bold spice notes. The finish is short but sweet.

cairdeas-2016The second expressions is Cairdeas Madeira, which is made by Campbell to celebrate friendship (cairdeas is Gaelic for friendship) and honor the Friends of Laphroaig community. Cairdeas is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in Madeira hogsheads.

This year’s expression of Cairdeas (51.6% ABV) is going to give you orange and licorice notes backed by smoky peat that you would expect from an Islay Scotch whisky on the nose, followed by more peat and minerality on the palate. You’re likely to taste the land and sea, which is followed up with a dry, somewhat spicy finish.

If these sound like bottles you want to pull up next to the fire with you, Lore retails for $124.99 and Cairdeas retails for $74.99.

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
Glenfiddich Grand Cru Makes a French Connection with 23-Year-Old Scotch
Glenfiddich Grand Cru Bottle

Celebrating in style just got turned up a notch. Taking the finest aspects of French and Scottish spirits, Glenfiddich is bridging its award-winning Scotch with the elegance of cuvée. This new expression, Grand Cru, was aged for 23 years in European and American oak casks before finishing in cuvée casks for about six months.

“Breaking category conventions once more, this unusual collaboration presented an exciting opportunity to create a liquid that further proof points our spirit of experimentation,” said Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman in a press release. “This is the only Glenfiddich single malt to undergo this exceptional finishing in French cuvée casks that once contained the liquid that goes on to become some of the world’s most extraordinary sparkling wines.” 

Read more
Ardbeg Drum is the Newest Ardbeg Day Special Scotch Whisky Release
ardbeg drum scotch whisky release 2

If you’re familiar with Islay scotch label Ardbeg, then you already know about their tradition of Ardbeg Day. Held on the last Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt, Ardbeg Day is a chance for lovers of the peaty Scotch whisky to celebrate with something special, as the brand is continuing its tradition of special Ardbeg Day releases with this year’s offering, Ardbeg Drum.

According to Brendan McCarron, Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks for The Glenmorangie Company (which makes Ardbeg), the island’s festival used to have many things in common with carnivals around the world.

Read more
The Balvenie Stories Tell of the Magic Contained Within Scotch Whisky
the balvenie stories new expressions suite 1 creditfineyoungman

The Balvenie is hoping that next nightcap of yours can and will be a bedtime story with the launch of the new line of Scotch whiskies, The Balvenie Stories.
The single malt scotch whisky company announced this week a collection of whiskies meant to tell the stories of character, endeavor, and craft. The design of the packaging is informed by the storytelling, with British artist Andy Lovell depicting the stories visually on the whisky bottle and label. An NFC-enabled tag will then allow drinkers to listen to the stories and audio tastings on their smartphones.
“Stories are the lifeblood of The Balvenie distillery,” Balvenie Malt Master David Stewart said. “They make up the fabric of who we are and what we do. The Balvenie Stories collection tells these tales in liquid form, giving whisky drinkers across the globe a special glimpse into the unique and very human nature of how we produce our whisky.

“Each expression intake collection reflects this by telling its own story via first-hand accounts and recollections of the many people involved.”
The Balvenie Stories will include three expressions: The Sweet Toast of American Oak, The Week of Peat, and A Day of Dark Barley.
Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie led the charge on The Sweet Toast of American Oak, resting the whisky on twice-charred white American oak from Louisville’s Kelvin Cooperate. According to Balvenie, the process led to a “fruitier, sweeter tasting Balvenie.”
The Week of Peat experimented with peat in the barley-drying process, resulting in a “classic Balvenie expression with honey, vanilla, and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate smokiness.”
A Day of Dark Barley, aged 26 years and clocking in at a $799 MSRP (American Oak and Week of Peat are $59 and $99, respectively), is an experiment with heavily roasted dark barley from 1992. An original 14-year-old release in 2006 resulted in a few retained casks for an additional 12 years, adding “extra depth and oak notes gleaned from the darker malt.” (Just to be sure, it's far from the most expensive release by The Balvenie.)

Read more