Laphroaig Fèis Ìle 2020 Cairdeas Port & Wine Casks

Christmas Countdown 2020 #20: Laphroaig Fèis Ìle 2020 Cairdeas Port & Wine Casks

Distillery: Laphroaig

Region: Islay.

Age: NAS, though WhiskyBase posters indicate that it should be around 8 years old.

ABV: 52.0%

Cask Type: Bourbon Casks, Ruby Port & Wine Casks

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/dyllix.

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.

This is the 20th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the entire 2020 series here or the 2019 edition here.


Nose: I made the mistake of offering this to the wife to nose (she hates peat). She recoiled immediately and glared at me. Oops. I didn’t end up getting a whole lot from this. There’s a maritime peat with a hint of red wine every now and again.

Palate: Dark fruits from the start. It’s not particularly sweet but not super peaty either. It’s almost like a dry wine, with the deep fruit flavor. A bit of sea air and peat pop in here and there with bits of port here and there as well. Not a whole lot going on and it doesn’t seem to change much even with water.

Finish: Long. That bit of sea air and peat linger for seemingly forever.


Conclusion: Whenever I have peated whiskies, they all seem to fall into the categories of either trying to delicately balance peat and subtler notes or are going full on aggressive with the peat. I think Laphroaig tried to do the latter with this one. Unfortunately, for me, it’s a bit of a miss. The end result is a whisky that’s rather bland and unmemorable. Even as I type this up from my review notes taken last night, I’m struggling to remember what this tasted like. There is a little bit of port/red wine and a some peat. They seem to be dancing out of step with each other as the flavors just aren’t harmonizing for me. It’s an alright whisky but I definitely wouldn’t be looking to add this to the bar anytime soon.

Final Score: 74.

Scotch Whisky Review #238, Islay Review #30, Whisky Network Review #362


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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