Thanks to /u/ForbiddenWaffle for this mystery pour.
There’s something magical about whisky. And I don’t mean that “believing stickers make you smarter” thing that Gwyneth Paltrow is slinging or whatever religion is selling or Cardboard Crack: The Spending type Magic. No, I’m talking about the idea of different casks giving different results.
Yes, I know statistically most casks age along a profile and are close to that profile. However having two different casks aged alongside each other, with all the statistics the same, calmly waiting on them, and then getting to try them, and seeing the difference is cool. Yes, no tree grows the same, we can’t know they were treated the same, and we can actually expect that something different happened to each one.
But it’s just so cool to see what those differences cause. And that’s why I’m excited to write about Ledaig 11 2005 Signatory Cask Strength Collection (Cask 900157). People who stalk me and enjoy taking pictures of my day to day life will note that I reviewed Cask 900160 awhile ago.
To those of you who don’t know the intimate habits of my life and own more pornographic pictures of me than myself or my wife, I rather enjoyed that whisky. Both of these are not identical twins. This one was pulled at the end of July, and the other got to spend some summer months in the oak. However both were laid down at the same time and both were left in 1st fill Sherry butts.
But enough waxing poetic: How does the bloody whisky taste! Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Stated Age: 11 years old
Cask type: 1st fill Sherry butt
Cask Number: 900157
Number of bottles: 607
Colour: 2.5Y 8/10
Nose: Ginger, peat, mint, caramel, banana
Clean earthy notes. Some peat here, but it’s morphing into mint or ginger. Not a cereal type ginger, more of a heat on the nose.
Water brings out caramel and banana, more sweetness. Think South East Asian desserts.
Taste: Anise, mint, peat, banana, lime
Spice, more mint, and then that vegetal smoke. No funk. Very clean, very light. Nothing from the cask or no Ledaig funk here.
Water makes me think this is that much beloved Jack Daniel’s cask with its banana. And I’m wrong.
Finish: Caramel, mint, peat, pine, cocoa
Finish is light caramel with more pine and peat continuing on. Water brings out the cocoa from the peat again.
Conclusion: Very clean Ledaig. Very clean sherry cask. All in all, a very odd dram to come from either. As you’ll see below, I was thinking this was a BenRiach from an ex-bourbon cask. It has the earth of a peated Speyside. It’s not taking on a ton of red fruits or anything else like that.
Like banana in your whisky? This is it. Don’t like funk? This will fit that. Like chocolate and herbal notes? It may work for you. I personally enjoyed it’s brother cask more, but this was fun to have.
Guess: BenRiach from an ex-bourbon cask
Actually: Ledaig 11 2005 Signatory Cask Strength
Scotch review #997, Island review #114, Whisky Network review #1561