The Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 Pedro Ximenez immediately makes me think of the Laphroaig Triple Wood; not because of how it tastes, but because of how it’s made… and a tiny bit in how it tastes. This year’s Cairdeas is a small, but significant, twist on a Laphroaig classic that was featured at cask strength as the 2019 Cairdeas release.
Like the L3W, the 2021 Cairdeas started life in ex-Bourbon casks, basically the standard Laphroaig, then moved into quarter casks, aka the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, and then it spent some time finishing in PX casks instead of Oloroso casks. This is a PX version of the L3W; bottled at cask strength of course.
You know… if you had a Laphroaig Cask Strength, a 2017 Cairdeas (Quarter Cask) and a Laphroaig PX (travel retail), you could set up a semi-deconstructed, evolutionary, tasting for yourself. And before you other nerds chime in, yes, I know L10CS is almost 2x older than LQC, but hopefully, you can see what I’m getting at by working with what’s available in the market.
We covered a lot of ground up here and I’m getting thirsty. So let’s get to drinkin’ and sip into this whisky.
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 Pedro Ximenez – Details and Tasting Notes
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Style: Single Malt (Scotch)
Region: Islay, Scotland
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon, ex-Quarter Cask, ex-PX
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 Pedro Ximenez Price: $90
2019 Laphroaig Cairdeas Triple Wood Cask Strength
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017 Cask Strength Quarter Cask
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2020 Port & Wine Casks
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2018 Fino Cask
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 Pedro Ximenez Tasting Notes
Smoke, coppery dried dark fruit (plum heavy), herbal, malty, cocoa, nutty with a slight vegetal note.
Not bad, not bad at all. Not my favorite Laphroaig Cairdeas nose, but not bad.
Coppery dried dark fruit (blackberry heavy), smoke, herbal, malty, nutty, cocoa, freeze-dried strawberries, with slight vegetal and menthol notes.
It’s a bold, brute force, flavor profile.
Long -> Smoke, dried dark fruit and malty sweetness fades out to smoky cocoa, menthol and copper.
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Ok balanced, full body and a heavy oily feel.
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 Pedro Ximenez – Overall Thoughts and Score
Like with all the Cairdeas releases it’s good. In relative quality, it lands under the Amontillado Cairdeas for me. It’s punchy, it’s rowdy it’s bold, but it lacks elegance and I’m missing some of that classic Laphroaig profile. It’s all force, no finesse and that’s coming from someone whose favorite Scotch profile is peat n’ sweet with a dash of sulfur.
Adding water brings out a subtle BBQ sweetness and some leathery notes, but it doesn’t right the ship and I end up searching a bit for the Laphroaig profile. Still, the Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 Pedro Ximenez is good and I’ll happily work my way through this bottle, but it might take me a bit longer than others.
SCORE: 3.5/5 (tasty, worth checking out ~ B | 83-86)
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2021 PX Review
It’s good, it’s a PX sherried Laphroaig, and while I don’t think PX and Laphroaig work all that well together, this one strikes a decent balance.