Ledaig 42 Dùsgadh

Thanks to /u/xile_ for swapping /u/unclebaldric for this dram.

Man, I really went through an epic tasting phase. I hope it doesn’t warp me. I mean, I put my golden shoes on one foot at a time, in my giant mansion, just like everyone else.

I keep talking like that and I may need to buy myself into politics.

So as part of this lineup, I decided to drag out another dram that I’ve been asked a few times about. Ledaig 42 Dùsgadh. There are a few reasons for picking a 1972 whisky: First up, this was the year the distillery started back up again after closing down in the 1930s. It also includes some of the last of the distillery’s peated stock from before 1996.

Heck, if you buy this, it comes with a free bottled of Ledaig 10-Year-Old Dèanta, which will be the last malt made from the stills which have now been retired (which also made the 1972 whisky as well).

That’s all pretty epic. But is it all hype? Let’s see, shall we?

Price: € 4,099

Region: Island

Vintage: 1972

Bottled: 2015

Cask type: Various Casks, then finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks Finish

Number of bottles: 500

Abv: 46.7%

Colour: 10R 1/4

Nose: Fruit leather, mulled wine, tobacco (cinnamon, woody), butter tarts, mature fruit

Think of an old study filled with all the things you don’t want kids around: A pipe, lovely well word leather chair, that feeling of spice. Yes, this is tobacco heavy. And I’ll say it right now: I am biased against tobacco.

That said I’m drawn to this. Brown sugar, fruit leather, rich notes. Very complex.

Taste: Pear tart, honeydew melon, tobacco (minty, herbal), hay, cashew butter, saltwater taffy, dark chocolate

Nothing in this dram is simple. Yes, a lot of drams have pear or melon flavours. This is like the best fruit you’ve ever had. If you’ve never had honeydew melon that is properly ripe, do yourself a favour and get some. Or drink this. Maybe the melon is easier.

Again, a big tobacco note here, more herbal/mint this time. If the nose was a warm study, this is all of the best parts of visiting one of those historical farms where the good people teach you cool stuff and the annoying ones won’t break character at all and act like assholes.

Finish: Roast duck, black jujube, oyster, buckwheat, tobacco (Caliente, earth), fresh pita, parmesan crusty, grapefruit juice

Long finish. Rich, flavourful, umami, anise, sweet, heat, earth, cereal. Everything about it is complex. I’m still not loving the tobacco, which is strong here, but you can’t deny how amazing this is.

Conclusion: Evolving tobacco heavy dram. If I had longer to do this (and by that, I mean 3-more-hours than the hour and a half I spent staring and picking this apart), I’d have written even more. It’s truly complex and interesting. Non-peat fans would love this. Non-sherry fans will love this. I’m pretty sure teetotallers would change their mind because of this.

So… why didn’t I score it higher, I can hear people screaming at their collective screams. Look, this was very good. So good that my bias against tobacco was the elephant in the room. I don’t like tobacco. Cigars and their ilk just don’t do it for me. And here it is, on display, front and centre. All the complexity that a great cigar can bring is here.

But I can’t get past that. So if you love tobacco, seriously, add on 5 points. Yes, I’m saying right now, this would have been the best whisky I’ve ever had if I liked tobacco.

88/100

Scotch review #1195, Island review #139, Whisky Network review #1841

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