Peat Unusual – Ledaig “Very Cloudy” 40%

Not all peat is your campfire smoky character…. In keeping with our “Peat Unusual” theme,  this Ledaig, specially bottled by Signatory, was not your ordinary direct peat Ledaig expression but instead something different.

What did we think?

Ledaig “Very Cloudy” 7 years (7 June 2008/15 Dec 2015) 40% Hogshead 700551 + 700552 Signatory Vintage 910 Bottles

  • Nose – Sweet and sour, that wet dish cloth element with lemon, ammonia yet restrained, as it opened more, a sweet wet hay
  • Palate – Super easy to drink then the peat peaks out from behind, becomes sweet and spicy
  • Finish – Peat and sweet

It was not heavily peated, more like an accent or splash of colour than the main act. One joked that it could be a peated whisky for non-peat lovers. We found it overall very easy to drink with its enjoyable light peat. Quite a contrast to other Ledaigs sampled over the years.

Given its ‘very cloudy’ moniker, we were curious enough to put it in a fridge to chill to see its effect. Did it make it cloudy? Not much, but it was rather nice chilled.

As this bottle came from a BMC guest, we don’t know where it was acquired, however we sampled it from a closed bottle in November 2017.

Interested in other experiences with Ledaig whiskies?  

Our “peat unusual” whiskies featured:

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Sailing to the Isle of Mull – Tobermory 15 year 46.3%

After an expedition with Shackleton, our blind tasting sailed off in a different direction…. This time to the Isle of Mull with Tobermory…. Here is what we found…

 

Tobermory 15 years 46.3%

  • Colour – Dark gold or copper
  • Nose – Copper, spice, sulfur, chawanprash, herbal spice, salty brine, peanuts, leather couch, round, polished yet piquant, seems like it may be thick and oily, almost like marmite… After sipping became quite honey sweet
  • Palate – Sweet, then spice like a brushfire, hard to pinpoint the cask influence – almost like muscatel, dry, a delicious honey sweet, velvety, silky toffee with a decent mouthfeel
  • Finish – Bit of spice, bitter end…
  • Water – Spices go way up, looses the mouthfeel, just don’t

Not complex, just sweet, no depth, a single track character however the more you sip, the more it grows on you. Truly – it was one where you found your hand unconsciously reaching back for more… We also struggled to assess the cask – it seems like it was bourbon with a sherry finish or something else.

And with the reveal?

Aha! From the Isle of Mull, Tobermory is a distillery we’ve inadequately explored and tended towards the peaty Ledaig variant. It seems it was matured in Gonzalez Byass Oloroso sherry casks, however wasn’t clear if this was for a finish alone or not.

Here is what they have to say:

  • Nose:  A lovely sherried nose with notes of figs, orange marmalade, hints of leather and a touch of smoke.
  • Palate:  Medium to full bodied.  Rich sherry fruit cake, milk chocolate, creamy toffee, light oak, a hint of white pepper creating a lovely spicy tang.
  • Finish:  Softly spicy, tingling with a nutty note, a hint of salt, lingering then gently fades.

After the exuberant packaging of the Shackleton, the photo and card with the Tobermory seemed tame. The wooden carrier, with a carving of the Isle of Mull was a nice touch.

What all did we try in our explorers evening?

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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)