Ledaig is the new Ardbeg, they said.. Oh well. I’ve been a fan of Ledaig (which is is eseentially peated Tobermory whisky) long before so many people thought it was decent, and I’m talking about 10+ years back, and with some quite young and cheap NAS I used to buy locally when prices of decent whisky were sky-high. Something in the Ledaig peat always appealed to me, and recent IB bottling are really superb. Today I am going to take a look at two young IBs bottled by the chaps at Single Malts Of Scotland (related to TWE). One is a 12 year old ex-bourbon cask, and one is a 11 year old Sherry cask , both bottled at CS. Interesting comparison, right?
Ledaig 2004 ,12 year old , 58.1% , cask # 1030 [single malts of scotland ], £59.95 @ TWE
distilled in 2004 and bottled in August 2016 from a hogshead.
Nose: Nice peaty reek up front, dirty peat, some motor oil and vanilla, hints of apple and pears in syrup, some wood smoke and coal in addition to black pepper and earth, sea spray and some brine as well, quite clean and youthful in a way, with the right amount of dirt, to make it interesting – It’s a Ledaig alright. With water it becomes a tad creamier, and the smoke is more pronounced.
Palate: Initially pepper, and quite creamy with vanilla custard, oak, and wood smoke. More earthy/dirty peat with ash , some leather, with a touch of apple peel, and bitter chocolate, and fresh ground coffee beans, with a nice sweet undercurrent, dried coconut.
Finish: long, ashy, peppery and creamy vanilla and some wet wool.
Quite a nice peaty, yet very creamy and semi-sweet dram, fruit, ash, vanilla, a bit of water is recommended.
Ledaig 2005 Sherry cask 11 yo , cask# 900161 [single malts of scotland] , 56.8% , £64.95 @ TWE
distilled in 2005 and bottled in July 2016 from a butt.
Nose: Warm wood smoke, feels older with the sherry toning down the fruit and young peat, giving way to sweet smoke, earth, soot and tobacco leaves, it’s rounder and thicker, with the vanilla gone, but feels rounder, and deeper, a bit farmy too, motor oil sort of aroma as well. Lovely.
Palate: Pepper and sweet sherry, BBQed meats in marinade, caramel glazing, soot, quite warming. Wet dog, and some sherry, with quite a lot of yummy wood-smoke. What a difference a cask makes!
Finish: Cured meats, pepper, sweet wood smoke, wet wool, caramelized bacon.
Highly enjoyable stuff. The sherry cask, makes it feel older, although it’s one year younger than the ex-bourbon cask. Sweet smoke, caramelized meats, BBQ aromas, soot and peat. This is just lovely stuff. I like it very much. Certainly the winner , for me.