Pandemic-delayed release of 19 year old single cask whisky distilled at Laphroaig gives frost-bringer Cailleach Beira of Scottish Folklore a chance to walk in the sun.
Scottish whisky broker and independent bottler Cask 88 have just announced the release of the third in their award-winning series of single cask whisky bottlings inspired by the legends of Scottish Folklore, a 19 Year Old Laphroaig 2001 Single Malt (70cl; 53.9% ABV; £475 RRP), finished in a first fill Château Léoville-Las Cases Bordeaux barrique. Available for general sale from 18:00 on Thursday 16 July, the latest release embodies the spirit of the Cailleach Beira, who is said to be the Mother of all other deities in Scottish folklore. She is the personification of Winter, ushering in the change of the seasons with her tidal mood, and washing her plaid shawl in the Corryvreckan whirlpool off the coast of Islay. Only 258 bottles will be available.
The 19 Year Old Laphroaig 2001 Single Malt: Cailleach Beira joins a series which boasts a strong performance record in international awards. The first release in this series was a 45 Year Old Ben Nevis 1972 Single Malt (70cl; 43.2% ABV; £650 RRP), represented by the Cù-Sìth from Scottish folklore, a mythical hound with a murderous bark which is said to stalk the highlands of Scotland. The 45 Year Old Ben Nevis: Cù-Sìth picked up gold medals at the 2018 International Wine and Spirits Competition in the “Highland Single Malt 30-45 Year Old” category and the “Design & Media Awards” category, and a gold medal at the 2018 Independent Bottlers Challenge. The second bottle in the series was a 22 Year Old Arran 1997 Single Malt (70cl; 42.4% ABV; £200 RRP), represented by the capricious selkie, which was awarded a gold medal at the Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters, and sold out within days of release.
Intended to bond the stories of Scotland’s unique history with the very finest expressions of its spirit, the Cask 88 Scottish Folklore series will consist of six unique, single cask expressions, each featuring a mythical beast who has roamed the highlands, stalked the lowlands or inhibited the islands. “It’s a pleasure to have such an iconic single malt as part of our collection inspired by Scottish folklore,” said Cask 88 Director Patrick Costello. “This particular single cask caught our attention because of its complex and brooding personality that reminded us of Cailleach Beira herself. Originally intended as a warming dram to guide through the change of seasons, changes to our release schedule have given our Cailleach Beira the chance to walk in the sun.”
The 19 Year Old Laphroaig 2001 Single Malt: Cailleach Beira from the Cask 88 Scottish Folklore Series will be available to purchase through the Cask 88 website and from WhiskyFoundation.com for worldwide delivery.
Starts sweet and musty, like freshly trampled grapes. There’s a richness like black cherry jam on wholemeal toast. The toasted note becomes a full burning peat fire within a few moments, undercut by grated nutmeg and Laproaig’s distinctive algal iodine.
Dense and chewy on the tongue, like a dark malt loaf studded with dried cherries and pecan nuts. A heavy oakiness is a solid anchor, around which flavours of honey-glazed ham, smoked paprika and laver cake coalesce.
Once the smoke has cleared (which takes a little while), there’s a lingering note of after-dinner brandy and praline chocolates. Those ones that are shaped like seashells.