Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Ledaig - A blast of Mull peat

Ledaig's a whisky I neglected for a long time. I'd heard mixed reports about the peated Isle of Mull spirit in the past and always passed it up while out shopping for a single malt. 
     But at this year's Edinburgh Stramash, I decided to try a dram of the standard 10 year old - and loved it. And, noticing it was bottled at 46.3% and non-chill filtered, I've snaffled two bottles since that capital encounter. 
     It's also lovely and pale, suggesting a lack of added colouring - although that's not mentioned on the label.
     I also went for a sherried version of the 10 year old – this one from independent bottlers Signatory. 
     It's bottled at a much higher strength - one of the highest ABV whiskies I've ever tried. 
     It's good, too, but doesn't quite match the bourbon cask beauty of the distillery 10. Here we go!


Ledaig 10 - 46.3%

Nose: Lovely dry, woody peat. Campfire smoke, green twigs and grapefruit rind. Olive oil and Brazil nuts.

Palate: Bonfire ash, liquorice. The sweetness is kept in check by the mineral peat. Peppercorns and some dried fruit.

Finish: Lots of peat smoke but there's also a fair whack of spice. A good length which carries some brown sugar sweetness and black coffee.

This has become my go-to peated dram this winter. I've managed to find it on offer for around £32 which is a bargain. It's not hugely complex but it hits the spot.

Signatory Ledaig 10 years old - 60.4%
Matured in a first-fill sherry butt.
Distilled: November 24, 2004. Bottled June 9, 2015.
Cask no. 900175, bottle 359/439

Nose: A whiff of sulphur straight off the bat - although it's not completely overpowering. All the sherry notes you'd expect, along with peaty toffee. Dark chocolate and raspberry yoghurt - seriously! Water reduces the sulphur and ramps up the fruit.

Palate: A powerful peaty sherry arrival, then lots of dark fruit notes and chocolate. Mouthwatering. Water rounds off the flavours and brings chocolate-covered cherries to the party.

Finish: Tobacco, mineral peat, liquorice and lots of black pepper. Water adds woody ash and pot pourri - yup, that's not a mistake!

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