Minis of a peaty persuasion

It has been some time since the collection of minis were attacked! The collection came out with the intent to focus on whiskies of a peatier persuasion…

And what did we select?

What was remarkable was the range of peats we discovered…

After all this, we rewarded ourselves with a Machir Bay – no tasting notes, just pure unadulterated enjoyment!!

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Winnipeg Cabinet’s Ledaig 10 year 46.3%

This is my third encounter with Ledaig from Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull however earlier tasting were with more mature avatars:

I had no idea the Ledaig 10 year would be part of our Cabinet Peat session… and had already on my Winnipeg trip enjoyed a dram (or two) after persuading my sister’s partner to pick up a bottle during our Liquor Mart jaunt.

My reason for suggesting it remains – it is an affordable, eminently drinkable peaty dram. It may not be the most sophisticated, complex or nuanced whisky out there but it is well made and good value for money. One you can simply kick back and enjoy with friends.

So what did I find with the Cabinet lads?

Ledaig 10

Ledaig 10 year 46.3%

  • Nose – Wet dog fur, curd, faint leather, fresh-cut watermelon rind, grass, sweeter as it opens without loosing its briney salty quality
  • Palate – Exceedingly… nay almost dangerously drinkable, warm, peaty, chewy leather strap, not as sweet as I remembered the more mature Ledaig’s as being, yet oh so easy to keep sipping…
  • Finish – A bit astringent, dry, phenol, smoke, some peppercorns and dry sweet spices

Overall pronounced to be akin to a rather good entry level Islay. Though  technically it is from the Highland Island sub-region… but who is quibbling…

What do the distillery folks have to say?

  • Nose – Sweet briny smokiness with distinct island character and playful notes that hint at mild antiseptic, creosote, wax polish, mint chocolate and floral seaside aromas. Soft peat, gentle smoke.
  • Palate – Tantalisingly sweet, medicinal flavours infused with enticing sparks of spicy pepper and dried fruit with rich peaty smoke and a velvety vanilla and malty creaminess.
  • Finish – A wondrous union of sublimely spicy white pepper, the vibrant sweetness of liquorice and a kick of cloves with a exquisite lingering saltiness.

More importantly, what did the lads over at The Cabinet have to say when they first sampled it?

Next was the Ledaig 10 year old, which won “Best Islands Single Malt”.  Being an Islands malt it is very different, and thus perhaps not to everyone’s personal taste, but as far as the distiller’s craft within the style goes, this hits the mark.

In fact it compares favourably to the standard bearers such as Laphroaig (I know, obviously an Islay, not an “Islands”, but the flavour profile is very similar). If you enjoy the smoky nose and the salt tang with a touch of creosote on the palate, then consider the Ledaig as an alternative to Laphroaig. Let us be clear, we love Laphroaig, but sometimes you may just want to have something different on hand.

Surprise your whisky drinking guests. Take one small sideways step out of your comfort zone. Live a little. The Ledaig scored 6.7, also a good Three Drams.

Also sampled at the Winnipeg’s Cabinet ‘peat’ evening:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Winnipeg’s The Cabinet “Peat” evening

Some folks know that I originally hail from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada though long ago adopted Mumbai, Maharashtra, India as home.

During my June 2016 trip back to the ‘Peg, I had several whisky treats – not the least of which was a most enjoyable evening spent with the lads from “The Cabinet” – a venerable whisky tasting group based in Winnipeg.

During an earlier trip several years ago I had the distinct pleasure of joining a Cabinet session and was introduced to their constitution, traditions and lore. Since then these merry men (and yes they are ALL men!) have further evolved during their 9 odd years of gathering.

They update a chalk board that lists what currently resides inside “The Cabinet“,  which is unlocked precisely at the given hour and the session is called to order.

The Cabinet Whisky ListAs guest, I had the pick of the open bottles to whet our whistle before the real evening commenced. Purely as it is increasingly rare to come across a bottle, my eye spotted the Rosebank 21 year… What can I say? I’m a sucker for indulging in  discontinued distillery samples when the opportunity arises!

Post my selection, we had a decidedly peaty tour with the room scented with peaty smoke. Our host shared insights from his most recent Scottish whisky tour and even managed to acquire ‘peat pellets’ from Manitoba, wondering why oh why isn’t there a good peaty single malt made in Manitoba?

The Winnipeg “The Cabinet” evening featured:

The lads at The Cabinet maintain a most amusing blog and already have their post on the evening published! It is, quite simply, a ‘must read!’ and can be found here: “Peat”

Thank you again gentlemen and I look forward to our continued tasting adventures!

Whisky Cabinet

Fabled Winnipeg Whisky cabinet

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

The Whisky Ladies of Mumbai!

What do you get when you combine kick-ass brilliant women and interesting whiskies? An insanely good time!

Years ago, I was interviewed as a woman whisky drinker, with the implication that the fairer sex enjoying a good dram is something new. Let me be clear – it is not!

However at all the recent whisky ‘Master classes’ in Mumbai and Delhi, lead by Master Distillers hoping to capture the hearts and palates of the Indian market, just where were the other women whisky appreciators? Why was I a rarity rather than the norm?

Wake up gents! We do exist… we are a growing tribe globally… no less so in India… and you ignore us at your peril!

So, how did this particular ‘Whisky Ladies’ event come about?

It all started with an innocent query about whisky drinking habits… Which lead to a conversation about women whisky afficiandos… Which sparked an idea to bring together a few ladies for a fine evening!
Without any effort, it was easy to gather a group of amusing women with diverse interests and one shared passion – whisky. Our host for the evening opened her gorgeous home in South Bombay for a most convivial setting – perfect for a merry night!
Whisky Ladies 1st Set (Table For One)

Whisky Ladies 1st Set (Photo: Table For One)

As for our killer line up of whisky?? Oh baby!

  • Compass Box’s Asyla – Love Compass Box blends and this delightful light number is like a joyous summer romp – fresh and flowery. A decidedly feminine start to the evening and a favourite of a few.
  • Kilchoman Coull Point – A complete contrast from a newer Islay distillery with a little wild ocean spray… top pick of one discerning whisky aficionado!
  • Nikka Yoichi 10 year – Then a jaunt to Japan for some mid–autumn cider after a wander through pine-filled British Columbia forests… Mmm….
  • Caol Ila 12 year – Ahh…. where would we be without this good old faithful Islay? Many fans in the room welcomed back an old friend!
  • Ledaig 1997/2013 46% – From the independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, we closed our evening with a little trip to the Isle of Mull. Calmer seas, peat smoke, complexity with an enthusiastic conclusion – “It’s really, really, reeaaaallly yum!” This one caught favour with more than one female!

I can’t wait for Pollywood‘s weekly vlog which will have a few seconds from our evening. And with the success of our first gathering, there is no doubt this will become a monthly affair!

In fact, such are our ambitions there was talk of hatching plots to get Whisky Live (or something similar) back to India…

So gentlemen be warned. We are loud, proud whisky sipping women and we aren’t waiting around for an invitation. We’ll be making them!

Nikka 'Yoichi' 10 year (Table For One)

Nikka ‘Yoichi’ 10 year with goodies (Photo: Table For One)

Quote of the night from our host: “Please guys, let’s now just enjoy!!” Considering 3 bottles were emptied… we did indeed comply.

Farewell my lovely Ledaig (Table For One)

Farewell my lovely Ledaig (Photo: Table For One)

For a few amusing takes by some other Whisky Ladies… check out:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Ledaig 18 year 46.3%

Our June 2015 monsoon tasting trio featured whiskies from Ireland, USA and Scotland:

The Scottish contribution may have been last but was definitely not the least!

Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

  • Nose –  Opening up a box of biscuits, the dive  deep into the forest with wet moss, dripping in humidity, whiff of smoked bacon that became increasingly prominent, some fruit cake or Christmas pudding, fresh sawed lumber, sea salt, cod liver oil, musty
  • Taste – A meaty peaty, chewy body… As our host shared, as a vegetarian, the whisky simply doesn’t fall into a vegetarian profile so she had no real reference point! Tumeric, smokey tobacco, smooth and oddly mild, oily
  • Finish – Sweet, salty but significant. Some thought it had a salty bitter quality.
Ledaig is a whisky line from the Tobermory distillery – the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Mull. While it hearkens its origins to 1798, it has a checkered history with a revolving door of owners, times when the doors shut then re-opened and is currently owned by Burn Stewart Distillers who also own Deanston and Bunnahabhain distilleries.
The Tobermory distillery produces whiskies in various avatars:
  • The peated single malt Ledaig expressions
  • Some whiskies – both single malts and blends – under the Tobermory brand
  • And can be found in blends like Scottish Leader and Black Bottle
We previously sampled the Ledaig 1997 (bottled in 2013 i.e. 16 yr)  – this had some elements in common yet the 18-year-old was distinctively more ‘meaty’.
Ledaig 18 label (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 18 label (Whisky Lady)

Official tasting notes:

A wonderfully smoky island single malt Scotch whisky which balances sweet and floral aromas with the richness and warmth of sea salt and smoke.

This 18 Year Old Ledaig represents the rebirth of the style of malt whisky that would have originally been produced at the distillery.

This sought after peated Hebridean style Single Malt Scotch Whisky balances rich and fruity, sherried smokiness with seaweed and light creosote that allows for a long and quite pungent finish with more smoke and a hint of liquorice and sea spray. Unchill-filtered @ 46.3% ABV.

Each whisky in our June tasting session was completely different from the others. For some, the winner of the day the American Westland – showing what quality, care and creativity can accomplish! For others, it was the Ledaig.
Monsoon trio - Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Monsoon trio – Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 1997 46% (Gordon + MacPhail)

The more I explore the offerings from the independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, the more I want to check out even more.

Ledaig is the peated line from Tobermoray distillery, the only distillery on the Isle of Mull. It was bottled for La Maison du Whisky and I picked it up during a rather enjoyable early evening in Singapore last year.

Ledaig (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 1997 (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 1997 Island Cask No 462 46% (Gordon & MacPhail)

  • Colour – Bright gold
  • Nose – Peat, smoke, tincture of iodine, orange, toasty warm, bold
  • Palate – After an initial punch of peat, hint of pepper, mellowed into a lovely elegant lady. The longer it aired the more notes discovered – fruit, more smoke, salty nuts, and more!
  • Finish – Sweet chewy finish, long and smoky, warm spice

This particular Ledaig was distilled in 1997, bottled in 2013 and is from cask no 462 with a total of 312 bottles.

We originally tasted this whisky as part of our monthly tasting sessions on 17 June 2014 together with Tyrconnel and Talisker Dark Storm.

It was definitely the whisky find of the evening. We had great fun with a guessing game of region, distillery… none came close until the hint was dropped that it is actually bottled by an independent company that specialises in bringing unique expressions and smaller distilleries whiskies to the world.

I revisited this whisky again last month… and enjoyed it even more. A delightful dance on the nose and palate. All the earlier flavours brightened and matured.

I added a dash of water and it ramped up the citrus, punched up the spice on the palate but dampened the smoke. Still lovely liquid gold but my vote is to go for it neat.

Definitely a very special dram – one to savour!

What other’s are saying about related whiskies:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: