Laphroaig unveils 15yo Cairdeas whisky

by Owen Bellwood

Islay distillery Laphroaig has extended its Cairdeas series with the launch of a 15-year-old whisky, exclusively available for its ‘Friends of Laphroaig’ group.

Launched in 1994, the Friends of Laphroaig are fans, friends and followers of the Scotch whisky distillery from all over the world. Each year, Laphroaig rewards this group with exclusive bottlings as part of the Cairdeas series. John Campbell, Laphroaig distillery manager, comments: “Our friends are very important to us at Laphroaig. It’s a polarising whisky, so it means a great deal that our fans remain loyal to us. Friends of Laphroaig gives us a great opportunity to engage with our supporters and give back to them with these exclusive Cairdeas whiskies.” Cairdeas means ‘friendship’ in Gaelic and, each year, a limited-edition bottling is crafted by Campbell which is available exclusively to Friends of Laphroaig. The limited-edition whisky was distilled throughout 2002, before maturing for 15 years in first fill ex-Bourbon casks next to the Atlantic Ocean. This gives the whisky a bright golden colour, with "sweet vanilla and subtle spice" on the nose, and on the palate, these notes develop into "gentle, warming peat smoke". Cairdeas 15 Year Old is available exclusively online and at the distillery. Previously, the Cairdeas range has included a quarter cask finished release as well as an expression which underwent secondary maturation in Madeira casks.