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!

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