Showing posts with label Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts

Ben Nevis 2013 (Signatory Vintage)


“Dirty Work”


Whisky Review # 1027

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Western Highlands
Brand: Ben Nevis - Distilled: 17-10-2013
Bottled By: Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd, Pitlochry on 19-11-2021
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Casks # 426 & 430 - Bottle: # 441
Age: 8 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Hogsheads
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 40-45 (July 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜‘ Okay I suppose but not worth buying
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ก Unpleasant is such a nice British understatement!

Color:

Pale White Wine (Natural Color)

Nose:

Young, Light, Raw, Funky and, frankly, not very pleasant. New Make Spirit mixed with Metal parts. Rotting Fruit/Vegetables. It's been a while since I nosed anything like this. Please give it enough time in the glass to be able to spot some slightly more conventional Aromas as well. The Alcohol is not integrated at all.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Margarine, Grass, Green Apple, Sour Berries & Yellow Prunes, Pear, Lubricant, Plastic, Cabbage, Dirty Smoke and Soot, Nuts and Nutshells, Overripe Banana, Musty Oak, Cheese, Licorice, Milk Chocolate and Aniseed.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Nectarine, Orange, Rubber, Rusty Metal, Chalk, Dirty Earth, Herbal Tea, Wet Rocks, Leather, Tobacco, Pepper and Ginger.


Palate:

Young, Thin, Harsh, Unfinished. The Raw Alcohol is King here. The label states that this is a Ben Nevis but if it would have stated "Cheap Blend" I would have believed it as well. I can't understand that Signatory Vintage would see fit to bottle this Single Malt at this point in time.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Grass, Dirty Smoke and Ashes, Grass, Sour Green Apple, Grapefruit, Mirabelle Plums and Berries, Nut-Shells, Musty Oak, Licorice, Aniseed and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Wax, Pear, Nectarine, Unripe Banana, Citrus Peel, Metal, Wet Stones, Wax and Chalk, Milk Chocolate, Fish Oil, Stale Black Coffee, Cinnamon and Ginger.


Finish:

On the Short Side and quite Thin. Some Sweet notes initially but with increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The harsh Alcohol is very present at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, slightly Sour Apples, Mirabelle Plums, Grapefruit & Berries, light Factory Smoke, Dirty Earth, Nut Shells, Fish Oil, Yeast, Musty Oak, Licorice, Grass, Metal, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Ben Nevis neat.

Rating: 5.5 (*****1/2)

Nose: 5.5 - Taste: 5.5 - Finish: 5

*** 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: Unpleasant
 
Conclusion:

Ben Nevis Distillery was founded in 1825 by Long John MacDonald and is located at the foot of the famous Ben Nevis Mountain, close to Fort William (Inverness-Shire). Since 1989 it is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.Ltd (Asahi Breweries). Some of its Malt is used in Blends like Dew of Ben Nevis, Glencoe and some Japanese Blends. The annual production currently amounts to around 2 million liters.

I have reviewed a few Signatory Vintage expressions in the last few months and I was not overly enthusiastic about them. But this the worst of them all by far. This Ben Nevis is Too Young, Thin and Harsh and presents various funky off-notes. It should not have been bottled this way. I like Ben Nevis as they are usually not as mainstream as many other distilleries today. But this SV expression should be left alone. Maybe it's a good idea to bury the remaining bottles deep below Mount Ben Nevis and open them in 50 years or so. Who knows!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                          July 11,2024

Bruichladdich 20 (Third Edition)


“It's Not Right but It's Okay”


Whisky Review # 1026

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich - Distilled 1985
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottled 2005
Age: 20 Years - Third Edition
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon casks with short Malmsey Madeira Hogshead Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: US$ 210-240 (July 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜’ Quite expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Simply Okay is not good enough for me at this price level

Color:

Amber with shades of Orange (Natural Color)

Nose:

Sweet and Sour Fruit with a touch of coastal Peat/Smoke in the background. The Alcohol is well-integrated. The short Sweet Madeira finish certainly made its mark. Quite enjoyable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Salted Toffee, slightly Sour Red Berries, Cherries and Plums, Dried Fruit like Prunes, Raisins, Dates and Figs, Red Wine, Milk Chocolate, Wet Stones & Sand, Dusty Oak, Marzipan and Cinnamon Rolls.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Yeast, Resin, Banana Bread, Citrus like Orange and Lemon, Green Apple, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Earth, Salted Almonds, Dried Herbs, Tobacco and White Pepper.
 

Palate:

A pleasant but unremarkable mix of Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty notes. Lots of Fruit, Nougat and Herbs.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, slightly Sour Red Wine, Red Berries, Cherries and Plums, Nougat, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Plums & Apricots, Citrus (Orange/Lemon), Dried Herbs, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Marzipan, Green Apple, Nectarine, Butter Scotch-Chocolate, Yeast, Resin, Wet Rocks, Tobacco, Leather, Cloves, Espresso and a hint of Peat-smoke.


Finish:

On the short side for a 20 Year old Single Malt. Sweet and Sour notes at first but with increasing Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end. The Alcohol is noticeable at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Resin, Yeast, Slightly Sour Red Wine, Red Berries and Cherries, Nougat, Chocolate, Citrus, Dried Herbs, Dusty Oak, Tobacco, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves and a touch of Peat-smoke. A light Metallic note after a while.

Drinking Advice:

A little added Water is nice on the Palate but wipes out the Finish. A few drops will do here.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7.5 - 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

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the Islay distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau (France). Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces 3 types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich & the heavily peated Port Charlotte & Octomore. The basic core range includes the Classic Laddie and a 10-year old Port Charlotte. The annual production amounts to around 1.4 million litres.

This 20-year old Bruichladdich is not an easy one to review. The Nose is okay but the Palate is unremarkable and the Finish is very Short. Don't get me wrong, this Bruichladdich is not a bad Single Malt. But a 20 Year old Single Malt that will set you back at least US$ 200 should be a dram you'll never forget! But my ink is not dry yet and I've already forgotten this Third Edition. And that's not just my age! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                           July 4, 2024

Benromach 21 Years


"Thin Soldier”


Whisky Review # 1024

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Benromach
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of 1st-Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Average Price: US$ 120-140 (June 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay I guess given the long maturation
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž I think you're much better off with the 10 Years

Color:

Dark Golden/Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Please don't nose in the middle of the glass right away. That way you avoid some initial wafts of Wood Polish & Sulphur. I wouldn't give it 21 years in a Blind Tasting as it presents itself lively and fresh. The maturation worked well with balanced Ex-Bourbon & Sherry influences. The Oak and Spices are certainly not overpowering and neither is the Smoke. The ABV is rather low and, as a consequence, the delivery is not as strong as it could and probably should have been.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apples, Apricots, Figs, Dates & Plums, Red Berries & Cherries, Candied Orange & Lemon, Milk-Chocolate, Dusty "Dunnage" Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Wax, Marzipan, Nougat, slightly Sour Grapefruit, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Wet Sand, Nutmeg, Cloves, Rum-spiced Tea, Licorice and very light hints of Varnish, Rubber, Sulphur, Raw Meat and Burnt green leaves.
 

Palate:

The delivery is on the Thin side on account of the "low" ABV. Smoke and Peat are a bit more noticeable now but they remain in the background. The Palate presents some Sweet and Sour notes with a very light Bitterness for balance. Medium-Dry.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apple, Apricot, Raisins and Plums, Red Berries and Cherries, Orange, Grapefruit, Dusty Charred Oak, Nuts, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Nougat, Marzipan, Lemon, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Soot, Dark Chocolate, Dark Espresso, Peanut Butter, Cloves, Tobacco, Leather & hints of Metal, Burnt Rubber and Raw Meat.


Finish:

Medium-Long. Mostly Sweet and Sour notes. Medium Dry towards the end. It's a bit on the Thin side & there's also a slightly Burnt feel to it. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apple, Raisins, Apricots, Dates & Figs, Red Berries & Cherries, Nougat, Orange, Grapefruit, Smoke, Ashes, Dusty Earth, Dusty Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Menthol, Rum-spiced Tea, Leather and Tobacco.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Benromach.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7.5 - 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 Thin.

Conclusion:

The Benromach Distillery is located in Forres (Morayshire) & was founded in 1898
by the Benromach Distillery Company. Benromach was mothballed from 1931-1937 and from 1983-1993. In 1993, Benromach was bought by Independent Bottler Gordon and MacPhail from United Distillers and since 1998 the Distillery is up and running again. The current year production is around 500.000 litres. The  core range includes the 10, 15, 21 and 40 Years and the Vintage Cask Strength. We visited the distillery in May 2014 on a very rainy day and enjoyed a great private tour and tasting. It's certainly worth a visit!

I like this distillery and their 10 Years is one of my favorite to-go-to Malts. But this 21 Years is a bit of a missed chance I'm afraid. It's not a bad Whisky of course but if I would be Gordon or MacPhail I would want to make this their flagship Malt. So I would take even better first class casks & bottle it at a respectable ABV of between 46 and 48% without Chill-Filtration. I would want to create a Green Beret without any flaws and not a Thin Soldier with a few off-notes. As it is I think you can safely stay with the 10 Years for now.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                        June 13, 2024

Glenmorangie 16 Years The Tribute


“Tribute (Not Quite) Right On”

Whisky Review # 1020

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Glenmorangie The Tribute - Heritage Spirit Batch
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 16 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price range: US$ 80-110 (May 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay when you can find it at around US$ 80
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜œ It's okay when you're having a party. It's too simple to really enjoy as a sipping Malt though.

Color:

Golden Amber (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

Young and slightly underwhelming. I would never have stated the correct age of this Single Malt in a Blind Tasting. I find clear Bourbon vibes with a little Smoke and the traditional Oranges. Mainly Sweet and Sour notes but I also get a bit of Salt. Nose carefully to avoid the Alcohol.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Orange, Nectarine, Grass and Straw, Light Smoke, Dusty Earth, Wax, Flower Stall, Charred Oak, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Lemon, Pear, Apple, Mixed Nuts, Bounty Candy Bars, Drinking Yogurt with Tropical Fruit Flavor, Nougat, Wet Paper, Nutmeg and a distant hint of Plastic.  
 

Palate:

The arrival is a bit on the Thin side. An ABV of around 46% would have been more appropriate for this 16 Year old Single Malt. As was the case on the Nose you don't actually feel the age of this Glenmorangie. It's more than likely that a mix of 2nd and 3rd Re-fill casks were used for maturation. I find mostly Sweet and Sour notes as well as a bit of Salt and a very light Bitterness.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Wax, Grass and Straw, Light Smoke, Dusty Track, Apple, Pear, Orange, Floral Perfume, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Aniseed and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Lemon, Grapefruit, Nectarine, Nougat, Herbs, Milk Chocolate, Cloves, Ashes and a distant hint of Plastic.


Finish:

Not bad but a bit on the Short side and a little Hot. A mix of Sweet, Sour and Salty notes with a very light Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end. It's more a drinking Whisky than a sipping one. Not too much going on but very drinkable! I find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Wax, Light Smoke, Dusty Earth, Mandarin, Orange, Pear, Tangerine, Nougat, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves and Mint.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Glenmorangie. 

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7.5 - 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: Okay/Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

The production at this Tain based Distillery started in November 1849. By the end of the 1930's, the McDonald family took control of Glenmorangie. They only sold the distillery to Vuitton/Moรซt Hennessy in 2004. Since 1994, Glenmorangie has been very actively experimenting with different Wood Finishes. The current core range includes the Original 10 Years, the 18 years, the Signet and three Wood Finishes i.e. the Quinta Ruban (Port), the Lasanta (Sherry) and the Nectar d' Or (Sauternes). In the last years however, Glenmorangie launched a large number of Special editions and Travel Retail specials such as the 16 years The Tribute I'm reviewing today. The Tribute is lightly peated like in the past. Currently, around 7.1 million litres of Spirit are produced. We visited the distillery in May 2017. The whole place looks impeccable and the Still House (Cathedral), VC and Shop are really beautiful.

If you're going to throw a party & your guests like Whisky this Glenmorangie might just be the Malt to go for. It's Light and very drinkable. But be careful! It's easy to drink more than you should or so I've heard ๐Ÿ˜Ž. But this Tribute has some flaws that make it less interesting as a sipping whisky. First of all it doesn't feel like a 16 Year old Single Malt and I feel that the rather inactive casks are to blame for that. I also believe that an ABV of say 46% would have done this Glenmorangie a lot of good. As presented it makes a rather Thin impression. So if you happen to own a few bottles of this Tribute I would urge you to send the invitations for the party right away!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                            May 16, 2024

Knockando 21 Years


“I Can’t Go For That (Knockando)”


Whisky Review # 1019

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Knockando - Master Reserve Series
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherry Casks 
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price range: US$  80-110 (May 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay I guess. A 21 Years old Single Malt can't be cheaper.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Not really bad but too plain for a 21 Year old Single Malt.

Color:

Dark Golden (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

Please avoid to nose in the middle of your glass to avoid the initial wafts of edgy Alcohol. The nose is quite Buttery and Waxy and presents Sweet and Sour Dusty notes of Fruits, Honey and Nuts. The Sherry cask influence is not overwhelming. It's not bad but I can see why historically most of the Spirit disappeared in Blends.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Honey, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots & Apple, Wax, Dark Berries & Currants, Mixed Nuts, Orange, Dried Coconut Flakes, Marzipan, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Toffee, Golden Syrup, Tangerine, Puff Pastry filled with Mango Cream, Milk Chocolate, Grass and Straw, Dusty Road, Unlit Cigars, Floral Spray, Dried Herbs, Ginger and Lemon-Grass. A hint of Leather perhaps.     
 

Palate:

Rather Thin. Bitter, Sweet, Sour, Dusty and Hot elements are fighting it out. It's not really bad but it is rather dull. You don't have to wake me up for this.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apples & Apricots, Dark Berries and Currants, Mixed Nuts with lots of Almonds, Orange, Dusty Charred Oak, Wax, Pepper, Cinnamon, Licorice and Mint.     

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Toffee, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Milk Chocolate, Dry Earth, Herbal Tea, Nougat, Salt, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves. A hint of Varnish   


Finish:

A Medium-Dry and slightly Hot mix of Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes. The ABV of only 43% leaves it a bit on the Thin side. Lots of Licorice, Aniseed & Mint/Menthol towards the end. I also find Sweet Barley, Honey, Caramel, Vanilla, Dark Berries and Currants, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apples and Apricots, Sour Grapes, Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Milk Chocolate, Nuts, Dusty Oak, Nougat, Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon and a bit of Nutmeg and Ginger.     

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Knockando. Enjoy it neat.

Rating: 7 (*******) 

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5 

*** 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: Okay/Good but boring.

Conclusion:

Knockando is a relatively small distillery in Morayshire that was founded in 1898 by John Thompson. For many years it was the Single Malt Heart of the J&B Blend. It became part of Diageo in 1997 and was closed for refurbishing in 2017. Quite surprisingly actually Diageo has re-opened various closed distilleries like Brora and Port Ellen. Knockando followed in 2023. The core range consists of the 12 year old only.

I'm really disappointed by this Knockando. It's not really bad but I expect so much more of a 21 Year old Single Malt. It's quite clear that the distillery focused more on Blended Whisky, at least in the past. This Knockando suffers from the low ABV but at the same time the Alcohol is noticeable all the time & not at all integrated. I never experienced that this much in a 21 Years old Malt. The Flavor and Aroma are rather dull with mostly (Dried) Fruit and Nuts. I strongly suspect that only 2nd and 3rd Re-fill casks were used. Considering its age the pricing of this Malt is okay but I can't really recommend the contents of the bottle. I'm yawning while I write this conclusion!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                          May 2, 2024

Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish


“Safe Haven is a Place on Earth”

Whisky Review # 1018

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
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: ๐Ÿ‘ Good
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you like peated Malt with a Red Wine Finish!

Color:

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

Nose:

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.
 

Palate:

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.


Finish:

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

Conclusion:

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 ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       April 25, 2024