Showing posts with label Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish. Show all posts

Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish

“Safe Haven is a Place on Earth”

Whisky Review # 1018

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Highlands - Islands - Mull
Brand: Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish - Sinclair Series
Distilled at: Tobermory Distillery
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.3%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Casks with Finish in Spanish Rioja Red Wine Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price range: US$ 38-50 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍 Good
Buying Advice: 👍 If you like peated Malt with a Red Wine Finish!


Light Chestnut with shades of Brown and Orange  (Natural Color)


Young and a little Thin. The label mentions that heavily peated Barley is used but this Ledaig is certainly not a Peat monster. The Nose is quite Ashy though and ever so slightly Medicinal. The Rioja casks are noticeable bringing both Sweet and Sour Fruity notes. The Ledaig dirtiness comes through with images of an older gas station. The Nose is not bad but a bit underwhelming. There are a few off-notes but none of them are serious.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Toasted Barley, slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Earthy Peat, Industrial Smoke, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Dates & Plums, Red Fruit Preserve, Charred Oak, Sour Red Wine, Ashes, Pepper and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Molasses, Vanilla, Grass, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Sour Cherries, Band Aid, Soot, Tar, Gas station, Plastic, Rubber, Burnt Matches, Iron, Leather, Green Apple, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Cow Manure, Smoked Bacon, Sweaty Feet, Licorice and Cinnamon.


This is my favorite part of this Ledaig. It's a little Young, Rough, Tannic & Funky but it shows character that would certainly evolve with more cask time. On the Palate we have a rather Dry mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour and Salty notes with lots of Berries, Nuts and Chocolate.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Factory Smoke, Earthy Peat, Ash,  Red Berries, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Plums and Apricots, Sour Red Wine, Lemon and Grapefruit, Dusty Charred Oak, Pepper, Aniseed and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Molasses, Sour Cherries, Dark Hazelnut Chocolate, Nougat, Mix of Straw & Cow Manure, Leather, Tobacco, Tar, Soot, Dried Herbs, Wet Rocks, Milk, Cooked Vegetables, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.


Medium-Long & slightly Hot. After a while a mix of some Rubber and Iron notes stay a little longer in your throat. I find Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty notes. Quite Dry & Tannic towards the end. There's Toasted Grain, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Apricots, Tutti-Frutti Bubblegum, slightly Sour Red Berries and Red Wine, Ashes, Tar, Factory Smoke, Earthy Peat, Nuts, Dried Herbs, Dark Chocolate, Grapefruit, Lemon, Strong Espresso, Wet Rocks, Charred Oak, Tobacco, Rubber, Licorice, Hay, Rubber, Pepper, Ginger and Cloves.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Ledaig. Better enjoy it neat.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good but on the Young side

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good


Ledaig means Safe Haven. It's the name of the peated expressions of Tobermory. The core range of the distillery now includes the Tobermory 12, the Ledaig 10 & 18 Years as well as the Ledaig Rioja Finish I'm reviewing today.

This expression was inspired by the story of a Spanish galleon that sank off the harbour of Tobermory more than 400 years ago. The vessel was said to have been laden with jewels. This Ledaig was finished in hand-selected Rioja casks in honor of the Spanish treasure buried off the Tobermory shoreline. The Sinclair series are named after the founder of the distillery John Sinclair (1798).

This affordable Rioja Finish might be a good introduction to the Ledaig Single Malt portfolio. It's a little Dirty but not that Dirty, it's a little Dry but not that Dry, it's a little Smoky but not that Smoky and the Rioja casks provide sufficient Sweet and Sour Fruity notes to please beginning Single Malt adepts. It's a little too Young for my taste and there are a few off-notes that show the unfinished character of this Ledaig. But at least it does show some youthful character, especially on the Palate. If you find it under US$ 50 you should give it a go unless you're not into peated Whisky with a Red Wine Finish.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                       April 25, 2024