Ledaig 10 Years Review - Ledaig 18 Years Review


“Ledaig Special”

The Tobermory Distillery was founded in 1798 by John Sinclair on the beautiful island of Mull. It was called Tobermory until it closed in 1930. When it opened again in 1972, the name was changed to Ledaig. In the year 1993 the distillery was bought by Burn Stewart and in 2002 the company decided to use the name Tobermory both for the distillery and for the unpeated Malt and Ledaig for the peated Malt. In 2017 the distillery closed for refurbishing. It is expected that things will be ready by the end of this year or the beginning of 2019. About half of the yearly production is Tobermory and half is Ledaig. We visited the distillery in May 2017, right after it closed. We were the only visitors at the time but nevertheless the guide gave us one of the best distillery tours! Appreciated!

At the moment, the distillery possesses two pairs of stills that produce around 750.000 litres per year. The core range is very small and consists of the 10 and 18 Year old Ledaig and the 10 year Tobermory although the latter can only be bought at the distillery at the moment. Some of the distillery output is used in the Scottish Leader Blend. Since 2013, Tobermory is owned by the South African Distell Group Ltd that also controls Bunnahabhain and Deanston.

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Whisky Review # 724

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Islands - Mull
Brand: Ledaig (Gaelic for Safe Haven)
Distillery: Tobermory 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years 
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.3%
Maturation: Bourbon casks  
Chill Filtration: No        
Price Range: US$ 45-55 (May 2018).
Buying Advice: 😉 I like it but it may not be for everybody. Read the notes!

Image result for ledaig 10 years

Colour

Light Golden (Possibly Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Sweet Peat is the first impression. Different Peat as in Islay Malts. It's somewhat dirty, more like Springbank or Jura. The Nose is rather Light, a little Musty and it's not all Sweet. I pick up a few Sour aromas as well as a bit of Sulphur. Are there a few Sherry casks in the mix? Despite the variety of Aromas, it somehow works out in a reasonably balanced way.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Burnt Buttered Toast, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Hospital, Dirty Earth, Grass, Salted Smoked Kipper, Bacon, Lemon, Salted Peanuts, Green Apple, Slightly Sour Grapes and Cocoa Powder.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Factory Smoke, Diesel, Iodine, Wet Stone, Rubber, Floral Perfume, Dried Fruit, Herbal Tea, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cheese Spread and Leather.   


Palate:

The delivery is less strong than I expected given the adequate ABV. On the Palate, the Ledaig 10 Years is mainly Bitter-Sweet although there are a few Sour notes as well. It's a little Dirty, Meaty and Edgy but I am comfortable with that.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Burnt Toast, Dirty Earth, Ashes, Tar, Smoked Fish/Shellfish, Iodine, Brine, Lemon, PVC Pipes, Pepper, Ginger, Herbal Tea, Wet Rocks, Green Apple and slightly Sour Grapes.           

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Grass, Straw, Bacon, Charred Oak, Aniseed, Sulphur, Leather, Cocoa Powder and Seville Oranges.  



Finish:

Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet and slightly Sour towards the Dry end. Dirty Earth, Salted Caramel, Smoked Fish, Ashes, Brine, Lemon, Grapefruit, Green Apple, Herbal Tea , Cocoa Powder, Cereals, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, PVC Pipes,  Tar, Tobacco, Licorice and Mint are the Flavours and Flavour accents that I pick up.   

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that changes the Nose completely. It becomes more friendly but also rather Lemony. I get Banana Ice-Cream as well. I don't think this is the way Ledaig is supposed to smell. But that's me! On the Palate the Dirty Smoke develops together with the Spices. I prefer to sip it neat but you can certainly add a few drops to this Ledaig. 

Rating: 85

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 20.5  - Overall: 21.5 

Drinking Experience:

Good. A little Dirty and Rough but I kinda like it.

Conclusion:

This Ledaig 10 might require a somewhat acquired taste. It's certainly not for everybody to be sure. It's not a mainstream Malt and it's different from your regular peated standard Islay Malts. But if you like Springbank, and I do, you can safely buy a bottle of this Ledaig 10 Years. It's a little Dirty and Edgy but it's also just what the doctor ordered after a long morning stroll on the beautiful isle of Mull. It should go very well with some Oysters or Mussels at lunch! Looking at the pictures we took during our visit to Mull last year makes me wanna go back tomorrow!


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Whisky Review # 725

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Islands - Mull
Brand: Ledaig
Distillery: Tobermory 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.3%
Maturation: Bourbon Casks with Spanish Sherry Wood Finish   
Chill Filtration: No       
Price Range: US$ 90-120  (May 2018).
Buying Advice: 😉 Very interesting Single Malt. Give it a try!


Colour

Golden (Possibly Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

When compared to the Rebel 10 Years, the 18 Years is more of a Gentleman on the Nose. The Peat is more subdued and the Sherry Cask Finish is noticeable. Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes are reasonably well-balanced. The Alcohol is there. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Dirty Earth, Hospital, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Apricots, Orange, Apple, light Smoke, Dried Herbs, Salted Caramel, Plastic, Milk Chocolate, Smoked Meat/Fish and Pepper.       

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Farmyard, Straw, Grass, White Grapes, Salted Peanuts, Leather, Tar, Oak Char, Rubber, Ashes, Cheese and Caffe Latte.    


Palate:

Good delivery thanks to the adequate ABV. A bit more of the Ledaig "Dirt" at this moment in time. Peat and other "Islay" elements come to the forefront. An interesting combination of Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty notes. Quite Dry. 

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Dirty Earth, Cold Smoke, Tar, Ashes, Hospital, Brine, Dried Herbs, Salted Caramel, PVC Pipes, Dried Fruit, Orange, Grapefruit, Smoked Meat Licorice and Pepper. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Oak Char, Strong Espresso, Tobacco, Milk Chocolate, Nutmeg, Aniseed, Heather Honey and Wild Fruit Jam.


Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. Some Sour and Salty notes towards the Dry end. Not as clean as the Nose unfortunately. I find Dirty Earth, Smoke, Cigar Ashes, Tar, Rubber, Brine, Licorice, Bitter Orange/Mandarin, Oak, Cocoa Powder, Salted Peanuts, Raspberry Jam, Toasted Cereals, Pepper and Nutmeg.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Nose becomes even more friendly. Apple, Orange and Dried Fruits develop. The Coastal elements make themselves known as well. Palate and Finish do not change a whole lot although the Cigar Ashes seem to stay longer with you. I liked it both ways. You can certainly experiment with a few drops.

Rating: 85.5 

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5 

Drinking Experience:

Good. 

Conclusion:

I thoroughly enjoyed this Ledaig session. This Single Malt deserves more credit than it usually gets. I scored the pair of them in a similar way although the malts are completely different. The 10 Years is the "Dirty Rebel" and the 18 Years is the "Dirty Gentleman". The 10 Years is really Dirty and Edgy and stand its own when compared to its Islay peers. The 18 Years is more sophisticated and the Sherry Finish gives it some additional Fruit. Both Malts show character and can't be called mainstream by any standards. This might scare off some but should attract many others. This tasting session has certainly got me curious to try out some Independent Ledaig bottlings. As far as I'm concerned, Tobermory can restart its production tomorrow!

The Pictures were taken during our visit in 2017

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