Ledaig 16 2005 Single Malts of Scotland

Thanks to /u/devoz  for pouring me this dram.

Last whisky of the tasting. Not going to lie: This was an exciting, terrible idea. If I didn’t have the breaks these notes would be “whisky” repeated about 12 times. I even was worried about some of them, taking extra time. Don’t be like me: Stop at 5 for tastings (for notes and for your liver’s sake).

Previously we spoke about Springbank, a whisky that is very tasty and is about as easy to get as a PS5 or a variety of Bourbons from Kentucky. Is this only Springbank going through this? No, Ardbeg Special Committee releases have gone down in quality and up in resale value, so they are being flipped, albeit for different reasons.

Then there’s Ledaig. At one time Ledaig was that funky peated whisky that wasn’t from Islay. Thus you could obtain it and enjoy a peated whisky. Now? Get ready to pay a premium.

Thus it’s a treat to be able to try Ledaig 16 2005 Single Malts of Scotland, a 16-year-old that was aged in some type of barrel and was released via Single Malts of Scotland at cask strength.

We’ve hit the end, yet just the end for a few days (my liver needs to bounce back), and then back to drinking and just messaging friends, rather than having a blast with them in person.

That was a little sadder than it needed to be. Let’s cheer up, shall we?

Price: £ 159

Region: Island

Vintage: February 3, 2005

Bottled: February 8, 2021

Cask type Barrel (What a huge relief, I was concerned it was aged in the molten core of the earth, and therefore would set me on fire)

Cask number 82

Number of bottles 249

Abv: 54.4%

Colour: 7.5Y 9/3

Nose: Lemon, peat, brine, chocolate chip, herbal

Really clean. Immediate lemon, brine, and bitter chocolate going on. No funk or body notes at all. Simpler than I’d expect for the age, though I have found other Ledaig that take a “dip” with age.

Still, let’s be frank here: There’s peat, there’s salt, and there’s chocolate. You may as well be writing whisky fanfiction for me at this point. My bias is showing.

Taste: Peat, cinnamon, caramel, cracker, mint

Again, simpler, with more cereal and heat/spice taking the main stage, and some raw peat notes. As I’ve said before, typically I avoid using the term “peat” as it’s quite generic, but here it’s appropriate given the earth elements and simpler aspect of the whisky. Capiche? We still say Capiche right?

A quick Google tells me no, and also I’m not being somehow racist by using it incorrectly.

Finish: Cinnamon, lemon, cigarette ash, mineral, very small amount of funk (think Red Hot Chili Peppers middle albums)

The finish is where this really starts to open it up more, and even after quite a long time sitting back, wondering if it’s possible for a liver to be screaming, having a great time, maybe even adding water.

Starts out similar, with that lemon clean/cinnamon flavour, and with all of the patience I mentioned above you eventually get some funk and ash.

Conclusion: Spicy and clean. Water opens up funk, but it’s missing some brine, and isn’t as nice as other similarly aged Ledaigs. Which I feel I should go into a bit more.

If you want citrus and peat, you typically lean towards Caol Ila. If you want funk, peat, and brine, in a dirty “father Josephius tells us it’s wrong” way, that he then shows you to prove it’s wrong given it feels so great.

If you poured this blind, I’d say it was a simpler Caol Ila. Which I don’t mind, I’m a big fan. It’s a Ledaig for non-Ledaig fans. Like how Love, Actually is a Rom-com for people with taste and not rom-com fans.

81/100

Scotch review #1508, Island review #166, Whisky Network review #2215

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