Thanks to /u/devoz for sharing this dram with me.
Recently I wrote about my trepidation about writing about Glenburgie. They were on the rise.
Today we see another distillery, Ledaig, that had a similar situation. While others were excited and cheering about Laphroaig or Ardbeg, this little Island whisky slowly made it’s way up. It helps too that the unpeated version, Tobermory, had a niche, love hate relationship, with people who enjoyed it agreeing on the flavour notes of “butthole” with those that did not, and the two merely arguing if it’s a good note.
Thus today we review yet another Ledaig. It has the ideas behind it of a hit: Peated. Sherry cask. First fill.
However will Ledaig 11 Signatory Cask Strength Collection be yet another great whisky, or something that some will hold up to battle the hype?
Which hype? The hype about the kid’s show High School Musical, of course. Also maybe about peated sherry bombs or Ledaig.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold Out
Cask # 900160
Cask Type: First Fill Sherry Butt
Distillation Date: 08 Nov 2005
Bottling Date: 22 Nov 2016
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Mulch, strawberry, watermelon, leather, espresso, banana
This starts out smelling like the mulch during strawberry season. Which if you haven’t smelled… smells like strawberries and mulch. Any farm goes to the peat side, with a leather/espresso feeling that typically comes only from morning BDSM times.
Nice banana here too, however that’s the funk evolving with water.
Taste: Pineapple, black pepper, caramel, peat/ash, cashew, funk
Tart, peppery with some caramel. When drinking this, you’ll start out disappointed . It needs time/water to really open up and give more funk.
That said, unless you like quite sweet and slightly funk, with some peat that is closer to Caol Ila with some ashy notes, then it may be off putting. For me? I’m in a happy place with this dram.
Finish: Caramel, smoke/ash, menthol, red liquorice
Finish is what I imagine cigarettes are like. As I’ve never had them, as that was what the cool kids were doing (and I was too busy playing Magic the Gathering), I’ll have to guess.
There’s some nice strawberries here, good complexity.
Conclusion: It’s a mixture of red fruits and smoke. A winning combination when done well. How is it done well? When the sherry mixes with the profile and makes something better.
So what do we have here? We have some funk mixed with red fruits.On the nose, it evokes interesting, complex notes that denote an older whisky than 11 years. The finish works well, with each flavour adding to the other. The taste is the only part that I can say isn’t working with the whole red fruit side. It’s more acidic. The black pepper does a nice job with the strawberries though.
So yeah, this is a win.
Scotch reviews #747, Island review #92, Whisky Network reviews #1231