This is a continuation of my ongoing series that I’m calling “Scotch Malts, Wife’s Selection”, in which my wife goes through my backlog of SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) samples that I haven’t reviewed yet, pours them blind, and then I review it blind.
Part of this series has the following issue: There’s some more typically peated, Islay malts as part of it, and there’s some not-so usual peated malts.
As such, it’s me pushing myself to see the difference between different regions with different methods and even the “terroir” of the peat. As most people know, I’m not the biggest believer in terroir when it comes to whisky. Note I said believe there, and not “knower”, as I always accept there could be something to the idea of terroir.
Thus there’s a few Ardmores and a few Ledaigs as part of the tasting. And I’m left trying to figure out their particular taste profiles, blind. This is the first time I’ve pushed myself on something like this, and I did… okay.
That brings us to the second Ledaig I reviewed, Ledaig SMWS 42.29 “Marvelous Maritime margaritas”. How did it do, and, less importantly, how did I do? Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Date Distilled: October 2006
Age: 9 years
Cask Type: Refill barrel
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Spiced pear (with nutmeg), mentholated Halls, pine, salish
Initial nose is lots of spice. Different menthols, with some smoked salt at the end. Not what I’d normally expect from a Ledaig.
Taste: Chocolate covered pretzels, pine, ginger ale, sugarcane
Taste goes in a different direction. The direction of chocolate, and no, that’s not a euphemism. It’s salted cereal and developed chocolate. Honestly more developed than normal for the young age.
Lots of spice again, and eventually there’s more pine to it. Quite sweet, with balanced sugar notes.
Finish: Lime, menthol, chocolate mints, gingersnaps, grapefruit, brine
The end takes a balance of the menthol, chocolate, and sweets, all while adding in some much needed citrus to the whole mix.
And that makes me take more sips, and I really start enjoying the whole package again. Maybe this opened up with water, maybe it grew on me, but this finish makes the whole package better.
Conclusion: A dram that takes some time to really be appreciated. The initial nose would only appeal to some people who enjoy pears a lot, or menthol. Honestly it takes a long time to get past the almost one note, though interesting nose, and then grows out of there.
Lots of chocolate, well developed brine, and interesting levels of citrus. This is the kind of dram that needs time. It begs to be picked apart. If that’s not for you, I’d skip.
Guess: Some sort of Laphroaig with all the brine?
Actually: Ledaig SMWS 42.29 “Marvelous Maritime margaritas”
Scotch review #810, Island review #95, Whisky Network review #1321